Why Connections Work: How the Pied Piper Guys of “Silicon Valley” Use Networking to Build a Brand

November 3, 2015


In TV’s “Silicon Valley,” just like in the real-life Silicon Valley, a good idea and a great product are just the start of the entrepreneurial journey. As programmer/CEO Richard Hendricks discovers when he maneuvers through the world of venture capitalists and competitors; the connections – especially the ones with deep pockets – can make or break Pied Piper, the compression technology company he founded.

In our infographic, you can see how investors, partners and cofounders intersect with the Pied Piper founders for mutual benefit. As the Pied Piper team knows, you don’t make connections just for the sake of connecting: every new relationship can bring you to decision makers, avenues for sharing thought leadership, and people you might want to hire (or work for one day). Of course, LinkedIn is all about leveraging connections – and not just when you’re shopping for VC money like the Pied Piper team.

If you use LinkedIn for social selling, you need to be just as strategic about your connections. Your goal should be quality, not quantity – and this works both ways. Don’t accept every connection that comes your way, and don’t invite every executive at a prospect company to connect. Think about how you can help your connections advance their business and career goals, and how they can help you learn more about your markets.

Also, keep timing in mind. If you met someone at a conference or social event yesterday and you hit it off, send a LinkedIn connection request while your meeting is still fresh in the connection’s mind. And remind them how a connection will benefit both of you.

Finally, nurture your connections – publish content and share interesting new stories or market research, which showcases your value as a business partner, not just someone trying to close a sale. You never know when you’ll be able to tap into someone’s network and make that game-changing connection to a prospect you’ve been hoping to reach for months.

In Richard’s case, now that his investors have taken control of Pied Piper, can he use his powerful connections to plot his next move? We’ll find out next year in season three.

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