David here.

Every founder I work with MUST be a superb networker.

It’s a skill that can make or break whether a founder will be successful in recruiting key hires, investors, or partnerships. That’s why a founder needs to be strategic in how they approach, maintain, and view the value of their network.

My partner Hans Thomas at 10X Capital is exceptional at this skill… And I can wholeheartedly say that we owe much of our success to that talent.

I’ve built two companies from the bottom up by employing this strategic way of thinking about my own network.

And now that I’m sitting on the other side of the table, I’ll never consider a founding team that doesn’t use the same strategy.

Today, let’s talk about exactly what an ideal network looks like, and how to find the founders with the very best networking strategies.

Let’s dive in…

What is the purpose of a network?

Herminia Ibarra (a famous professor at the London Business School) and Mark Lee Hunter (a famous investigative reporter) gave networking advice in a 2007 issue of the Harvard Business Review that I’ve found to be extremely helpful.

Throughout the years, I’ve done what they recommend, and it’s led me to great success. The founders that I invest in follow their advice as well.

Ibarra and Hunter say that people need to employ networks for strategic purposes. They break down a successful person’s network into three categories:

1. Operational Network

The purpose of a founder’s operational network is to find contacts who will help the founder get work done efficiently. These contacts are mostly internal – people who work with the founder.

It’s extremely clear to discern who is part of this category… after all, they’re the people a founder needs to get a company off the ground.

It’s all about building strong working relationships with these members of your network.

2. Personal Network

The purpose of a founder’s personal network is to enhance both his personal and professional development.

These are the contacts who can provide referrals and introductions to useful information and contacts. These contacts are mostly outside of a founder’s organization and will help provide support for both their current interests and potential future endeavors.

The thing about these contacts is that it’s hard for a founder to discern which contacts are relevant. They have to think: Who does a founder know who can help him get an introduction to “so-and-so?”

A founder who doesn’t have a strong personal network should always look for investors who do. This is what distinguishes a good venture capitalist from a bad venture capitalist.

In other words, founders should seek out VCs who can connect them with the “who’s who” of the private equity world.

3. Strategic Network

The purpose of a founder’s strategic network is to look into the future.

They help a founder figure out future priorities and challenges before they arise. These contacts can be both internal and external but are always brilliant minds.

These are contacts who are experts in their fields and who can provide a real strategic vision.

I always say that if you want to be good at something, you need to learn from the very best.

As an investor, you need to see whether a founder is someone who wants to learn, grow, and surround themself with the top of their field.

If yes, great! If not… run the other way.

I truly believe that if a founder wants to be successful, they must understand the true value of a network and be strategic in creating and utilizing it.

I only invest in those who understand this. If you do the same, you have a much stronger chance of striking gold.

In fact, I’m working with a handful of founders right now who have these exact skills. They’ve impressed me so much that I decided to invest a six-figure stake into each of their ventures.

These companies are currently accepting investments, meaning you have a chance to share in their insane growth right now.

I’m expecting big things from these guys, due in no small part to their incredible networking abilities. These deal recommendations come straight from the independent research team.

But their raises are moving quickly. One of them has already closed, and the others aren’t too far behind it.

I suggest you get all the details we are sharing now in our deal analysis meeting before the doors close for good.

Just click here to get the full scoop on how to invest, and I’ll be back soon with another update.

Very best,

David Weisburd