Awesome collection, thank you Ryan! My favourite from the Mark Suster AMA:
Sydney Liu — Co-Founder, CEO TalentTrail
Hey Mark! Everybody wants a piece of your time. People cold email you, people make intros to you, you get tweeted at, people comment on your blog, etc. You’ve also been known to give people who are relatively unknown or don’t already have a huge network in tech the opportunity to build great businesses.
What helps you differentiate the signal from the noise? When somebody you don’t know contacts you, what do you look for that tells you: “This person may be worth spending some time with.”
Mark Suster — Upfront
Thank you. Very kind. Honestly, Sydney, sometimes it’s luck. I had dinner 5 years ago and sat next to a young entrepreneur named Brian Li. We struck up a conversation. I could have ended that night. But he’s been politely persistent with me over the years. We have similar interest in food (especially Asian) and so we try to grab meals together from time-to-time. In fact, we’re having dinner tonight! Another time Raj Suri — who had been commenting on my blog (the best place to start an online relationship with me — asked for 15 minutes of advice. So I knew he had spent time on my blog so I agreed. We had a 45 minute call. I really like him as a person. He was smart and thoughtful. So over the years we’ve carved out time for each other. There is no “one size fits all” but there are two stories for you. Mostly it’s: likability + polite persistence + smart / interesting points-of-view + time.