Friends in the right places

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

So, for a nomad like me who’s been business building for the past 4 years with my head down on management, I return to the digital world. In search of The Next Big Thing. And, my chum and co-Loewy chief Steve Waddington is up for Blog of the Year. You can read his post then bounce to the nominations if, like me, you are still struggling with this whole ‘what’s it all REALLY about’ stuff.

i feel chuffed that I’m networked into such a guru no less. Go vote for him, folks.

However, an undercurrent of the NBT quest is… there’s nothing new. It’s the same-old that’s still important for entrepreneurship, for breaking thru, for making it BIG. Knowing people is one of the bedrock basics.

So, my cheesy opening cliche (the title of this blog post) is still more true and relevant than ever. Your own personal profile and network-building is THE MOST IMPORTANT ASSET. Indeed, it’s all you’ve got…

And, if you are in recruitment, you’ll know about the recent LinkedIn case of a recruiter Mark Ions who left and is being chased by his former employer Hays to force him to show (rather than hide) his contacts base. They argue that this was built up on company time and should be an asset to the firm that paid for him to use the tool. He, presumably, is arguing that his online persona is not for sale or owned, despite his wage-slave status.

The case is more complicated than that and worth a bit of a read up.

Various stories on the case:

Computer Weekly

The Register

It’s already a Big Thing to ask where the boundaries lie between real and online… and/or the reality of our second-life persona or our various avatars… rather metaphysical and philosophical stuff.

My themes are moreso about business models. Again, so, the Next Big Thing will show strong characteristics of all the Last Big Things, if only you’ve been a close observer of the key characteristics they share.

On my Opencast quest, I’ve seen for start-ups who can get distracted by the excitement of the tools, rather than the fundamental need for real cashflow. I’ve been having something of an Alan Sugar ding-dong with the guys at Dub Studios over this. They cover an interesting territory, but are framing it up with starry-eyes for the potential, rather than from the customer need/benefit perspective. (Meanwhile, despite my groans, they are obviously doing something right because they are heads-down on client projects).

Alan Sugar again, guys… ‘But just think how much BIGGER it could be if you got that proposition straight!?’

Am I the only person who puts up Dragon’s Den objections to the multitude of start-up stories I hear? How come these people keep spinning the innovation-packed ideas, instead of latching onto the really boring, stable, repeat business opportunities that will create really challenging careers… like opening restaurants, or recruitment business, or property maintenance? My cry will always be ‘it’s the business model, it’s the business model’.

Maybe, as a plea, our respective friends should be that much more critical with their inputs. Simon Cowell may be very-very-‘arsh, but his medicine does have a strong backbone of truth about it. I’m not only expanding my network by blogging, and clarifying my own head, but the blog tool allows for the wisdom of the cloud to input.

Who you know shapes everything, as does who you are AND how open you are to adapt to criticism…

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