Whoever thought Wall Street would be willing to pay for a Rolodex? And at $3,000 a shot? Though Andrew Ross Sorkin didn’t label the database of contacts (Relationship Science, LLC) the next phase in social media, its creators deserve kudos for their smarts.
What they’ve done is create an online Rolodex that is a lot more than a list of millionaires and billionaires. It shows the connections among the 1 percent: two million deal makers, power brokers and business executives. So it’s the connections and the subscriber’s unique ability to connect with connections that are the be-all, end-all, not the stand-alone list.
Looking closer at the online Rolodex, I wondered what different approaches might exist that the 99% might be willing to fork over some small change to purchase? After thinking a bit, I found the answer for $30 (see below).
Relationship Science LLC
But unlike Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media, Relationship Science doesn’t add user-generated content. It researches the web, lists the top 1% of deal-makers, power brokers and business execs, and adds in all the connections from the top 1%. In short, it compiles who knows whom, shows how the searcher is connected with, say a friend, friend of a friend, or charitable board, and then grades the quality of the connections with “strong,” “good,” or “poor.” Talk about status oriented—there are no phone numbers or emails. None of these people want to be cold-called, so unless you have a connection, you’re out of luck. But I’ll bet the finance people with the money to buy the service are sure to have a contact within the connections.
The online brand page reports the following for Relationship Science: COMPUTER SOFTWARE FOR CREATING, MANAGING, AND SEARCHING PROFILE INFORMATION. The result is a highly valuable program that makes it possible for the Wall Streeter to insert his name into the connection list to find out who he already knows to lead him to relevant potential clients. It’s a godsend for Wall Street.
Six Degrees of
My own experience is that industry folk have all kinds of connections, many--or most of whom they are unaware. Several years ago when I started working on networking, I played the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon for myself over a period of two weeks. When I got to several thousand connections, I quit. I could guess the quality of the connection, but had no algorithm. I’m a free-lancer, but many of my 300 plus (at that time in the early ‘nineties) managers and executives were well-placed throughout the nation. And I had a lot of really superb connections that have paid off through the years since.
$3,000 or $30
However, you don’t have to put out $3,000 to create your own highly relevant connected rolodex. Besides, unless you’ve got business for the big boys, that specific software won’t be of value to you. If you’re willing to shell out $30 for Wayne Baker’s Achieving Success Through Social Capital, you’ll find how to build, evaluate and use your own network of relationships, connections and/or potential clients. Baker has laid it out in an easy format that you can put on Excel or PowerPoint.
The key lesson here is simple: if you want to grow your business (personal or otherwise), build and use a connected network. And, as the research reveals in spades, it’ll need, eventually, to be face-to-face, not merely Facebook, LinkedIn or etc.
Flickr photo: AndreAlmond