More than ever, your network is the most valuable asset you have. So then why has “networking” become a dirty word? Why do we envision sleazy conference goers or slick salesmen when we think of networking?
In this 99U talk, hacker and author Joshua Klein shares how technology and growing “black markets” are optimizing our world for relationships. But building authentic relationships takes work. As a result, we need to be generous with our talents and time and invest in those around us (and then they’ll invest in us). Think of your customers as actual people and think of your product in the term of the relationship it creates. Because it will be your customers that become your next investor, your next employee, and your next opportunity. Humanize your work and the “networking” will follow.
“Don’t be afraid of sharing,” says Klein, “my projects would not have existed if I didn’t shoot my mouth off at anyone who would listen.”
Joshua Klein is an internationally known technology expert who studies systems, from computer networks and institutions to consumer hardware. His recent projects have included an acclaimed new television series on the history of innovation on the National Geographic Channel, called The Link, one of the most watched TED videos of all time (about a vending machine that train crows to exchange found coins for peanuts), and the development of a cell phone application to create a virtuous cycle of education and employment in South Africa. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired, O Magazine, and The Harvard Business Review. He has made appearances on MSNBC, NPR, and has spoken at conferences from TED to Davos, and presented in front of organizations ranging from the State Department to the Young Presidents Organization Global Leadership Congress, to Microsoft to Amazon. He lives in New York City.