I want to share with you another concept that I’ve learned from Reid Hoffman and that is the concept of network intelligence. What it means is that you don’t try to say “I am smarter than the rest of the world” but you try to talk to as many smart people as possible. There is always a way to ask people, but it is important for you as an investor to know how to do it correctly.
Reid suggests that instead of asking “Do you think it’s a good idea," ask them “What could go wrong with us? What would need to be improved? What could break this?”
The reason is that if you ask them the first way, this could telegraph a degree of uncertainty or lack of confidence on your part that you're looking for them to mitigate, and this can be disastrous in terms of getting the kind of response you're looking for. So when you anyone smart add perspective to it as an entrepreneur even as an investor, even if they are not experts, their different perspective can still be useful for you.
And that is the brilliant thing because what you learn from them is not just the answer people give you, right? You are getting input and you are learning as well. You learn in which area you need to focus more and what hypothesis you need to test. The story behind LinkedIn is a perfect example for the network intelligence concept and I like to think of myself as a contributor to its success as I saw the value of the platform and I was from the first users of LinkedIn who also invited their friends to join.
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