Johnson Cook

Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Johnson Cook - Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Introductions in the Atlanta Startup Rainforest

The old saying “It’s not what you know, but who you know…” is becoming more true as we become a more interdependent community.

This is especially true in an innovation ecosystem like Atlanta startup rainforest, the number of connections you have directly correlates to your probability of success. When we view the startup community as an ecosystem with the intention of accelerate it, the metrics we need to focus on are the total number of connections people have and the speed at which they can find new connections.

From the book:

Rainforest Axiom 5: The vibrancy of a Rainforest correlates to the number of people in a network and their ability to connect with one another.

It’s no coincidence that we focus a lot of energy on creating serendipity. The primary output of a serendipitous interaction is a new connection. Or stated differently– serendipitous interactions are the primary vehicle for creating new connections.  We need to accelerate connections.

Most of us operate in multiple networks. Whether separated by industry, social groups, geography, or even family.   When you see potential connections that exist between your networks, the best thing you can do for yourself and your community is to make the connection. Provide the introduction. Take both to lunch. Host a party and invite both networks. Networks that are closed do not feed the number of people in the larger network.

I love connecting people between networks. It’s fun and easy to do. You just have to have your eyes open and the goal of providing value to everyone you meet.  The easiest way to provide value is to make an introduction that is meaningful.

Give it a try, prove me wrong.


  • Daniel Roberts says:

    Great post. It’s got to be both quantitative and qualitative. In The Power of Habit, (great book btw) the author dives into the backstory of Rosa Parks. It was a set of strong ties (a white lawyer and a black leader within the NAACP) that allowed the movement to start combined with a set of looser ties (she was super popular and well liked in many organizations that spanned racial and economic divides) that allowed the movement to grow.

    Many people/companies have a small team of close-ties that will go to the mattresses for them but they lack the wider social loose-ties that allow their company to grow. They get stuck, which is exactly what we see in so many startups.

    March 19, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *