Johnson Cook

Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Johnson Cook - Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

It Takes One Year to Develop Personal Capital in a New Network

 

A common topic in community discussions around the startup ecosystem is “What are the best types of businesses to start in Atlanta?” The question is intended to bring up topics like the clusters of FinTech, healthIT, Sensors, SaaS / Marketing Automation etc…

This is a top-down approach that may work for economic development people, but entrepreneurs should be thinking bottom up. The top-down answer always includes stats about Atlanta and the amazing clusters happening here, but the bottom-up answer is much more simple: The best kind of business to start is where the entrepreneur’s personal network is the strongest.

So the natural next question usually goes like this: I know my idea is huge and will change the world, but I don’t have a network in this arena, at all… what do I do?

If you are intentional about it, you can build strong networks from nothing. I believe it takes twelve months of intense networking. Attend events. Build deep relationships and also cast a wide net. Ask for introductions. Pay attention to the super-connectors and be around them. Offer to help them. Volunteer at industry programs. Speak on what you know whenever offered the mic. After that full year, you should have the contacts necessary to launch something with plenty of resources.

Category: Ideas
  • Barclay K. says:

    “I believe it takes twelve months of intense networking”…to build a quality network in a new city as an entrepreneur – the absolute truth.

    November 15, 2013 at 9:59 am
    • Johnson Cook says:

      Not just a new city… a new network in a new market, in the same city… assuming a big city.

      November 23, 2013 at 11:38 am
  • Matt Hyatt says:

    Yep, I’d say one year, minimum. For thoughtful introverts, probably two.

    November 20, 2013 at 7:48 am
    • Johnson Cook says:

      If they live in the burbs and only come ITP twice/year, add another 5 years. ;)

      November 23, 2013 at 11:39 am
      • Matt Hyatt says:

        Ha! :)

        December 2, 2013 at 5:20 am
  • Chris Richards says:

    I absolutely agree, as director of Startup Grind here in Atlanta I’ve had the opportunity to see the benefits of some intensive networking and speaking, on mic, to the Atlanta startup community and it’s amazing. Here in Atlanta no matter what you want to build your personal network in, we have a community of people with a club that’s open for everyone to attend for free. My advice is to follow the community at ATV and Hypepotamus but also go on Meetup and find a group that’s related to what you want to build your personal network in and I guarantee you will meet at least one helpful person.

    November 21, 2013 at 4:54 pm
    • Johnson Cook says:

      Completely have seen in action the “club that’s open for everyone to attend for free” … it’s one of our strengths as a city is our openness.

      November 23, 2013 at 11:38 am

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