Great questions! We have a lot more thinking to do, but here are some initial ideas:
- We’ll never leave it up to the user to find a connection to someone. Ideal would be the user getting a connection through a common relationship (that we flag), but to your point that’s not always viable for less-networked folks
- We can facilitate an introduction to an unconnected contact via the platform. We do this by having a deep understanding of the needs/desires of both parties. If you can use that information to only serve up high-quality leads on each side, you develop a trust that makes each more likely to opt in. Part of that can be finding commonalities to build rapport (same school, previous employer, volunteer work, industry, etc.)
- We think there’s actually a mid- to long-term opportunity to build a robust mentorship network the platform. Mentorship is fundamentally broken today, with both side of the “market” dissatisfied with their ability to “transact”. Mentees always need more people willing to help them out in a thousand ways. Potential mentors want to help, but don’t know how to do so in a way that works best for them (hour commitment, medium, type of knowledge, etc.). Several platforms have popped up to address this very specific need, but neither side (particularly the mentors) feel the pain acutely enough to go to an entirely new platform. We have a unique opportunity to serve that need for the users who are already on our platform.
- There are some interesting things that our aspiring users can do beyond the 1:1 connection level. We can lay out the landscape of conferences, online activity, thought leadership, etc. that can help them build a network in other ways.
Would love your thoughts as well! When are you going to come stop by?