"The more I help out, the more successful I become. But I measure success in what it has done for the people around me. That is the real accolade." ― Adam Grant, Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success
The best VCs I’ve met are excellent at creating value for people (and not just with money), which makes sense after reading Adam Grant’s Give and Take, where he demonstrates quantitatively and qualitatively that those who succeed tend to be more focused on what they are giving than what they’re getting.
Overall, givers come out ahead, and this is true for VCs as well.
Enter the Head of Platform
In the early 2010s, coastal VC firms started thinking critically about how to translate the one-to-one networking and connecting partners into full-scale community engagement and support. A few firms focused on developing a new kind of role: The Head of Platform.
Today, every major leading VC firm has a Head of Platform, and in many cases, a full platform team. Accel, Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Founders Fund all count platform leaders as integral parts of their organization strategy.
Heads of Platform all share one trait in common: they’re expected to be master connectors. They nurture strong networks and both protect and strengthen a firm’s social capital.
Heads of Platform focus on connection and people across a broad array of roles and responsibilities, including talent, business development, marketing, operations, and events. The Head of Platform role helps firms differentiate themselves, building powerful communities made up of founders for founders. This means a firm can bring more to companies than the money they invest, which makes them competitive in the market and also maximizes the chances their investments succeed. When founders get the human capital they need, they grow.
And it’s not just VCs who understand the value of investing strategically in fostering connections. Entities like Chambers of Commerce, universities, and other membership organizations are investing in Heads of Platform roles, too.
Creating opportunity through connection
Heads of Platform transform their networks by taking a few concrete steps. Specifically, they:
- Do their homework. They understand the people they are connecting and have context.
- Think win-win. Heads of Platform are always looking for mutual benefit in a match, as opposed to one-sided connections. This is one of the reasons they always default to double opt-in introductions.
- Stay organized. They keep track of everyone in their network and organize information about them so that they can easily make connections.
- Create automations. Follow ups are the hardest part of networking, and Heads of Platform know they have to introduce reminders, automations, and tools to make sure they stay on top of their relationship management processes.
- Let the magic happen. Once they make their connections, they let people take the wheel and manage their own relationships.
Let’s assume that the average Head of Platform meets 1,000 people each year. That means they have to apply this five step process to everyone in that pool… and the longer they do this work, the bigger their list grows.
Even on digital platforms like Linkedin, networking can be a long and painful process. In order to find people to connect with, you have to first research your network and find mutual connections to facilitate meetings. Introductions can get lost in emails or messages. Every double opt-in introduction requires that the person making the connection sends three emails. This process is great for the receivers but can create lags in networking opportunities and cause a headache for individuals trying to make the connection.
And of course, time is money. If we assume the average Head of Platform makes $100,000, we can estimate their hourly rate is $48 an hour. If they spend 5 hours per week making introductions over 50 weeks a year, that’s $12,000 over the course of the year. Using tools to automate this process saves money and time – time that can be put towards more high-level tasks.
To build better connections faster, Heads of Platform can use Getro and eliminate multi-touch processes.
Streamlining your network with Getro
Open the door and create a flywheel
Companies and people in your network want to connect among each other but they don’t know how unless you make intros manually. You are the bottleneck to creating a flywheel of introductions.
Use the Getro platform to provide a place for companies and talent to connect with each other without being a bottleneck, and maintain the credit for the intros that happen within your network.
If you still want to make connections manually, you can. With Getro, you can reduce the time it takes to make each connection.
All you have to do is find the individual, click “Share”, and then send their profile to the companies in your network. They’ll receive a notice through Getro and have the ability to accept and connect with no more effort from you. Where before you needed to send three emails to facilitate double opt-in intros, now you can do this in just one email.
Create lists of talent
You can start making better intros by mapping this connectivity to our talent list feature.
Using talent lists, you can categorize those in your network - account managers, accountants, founders, marketers, and any other category that is useful – to help you build and manage your network. Using the filter feature, you can also have anyone from your network added automatically to a group based on their tag and title in Getro.
Once you have your talent lists set up, you can share the URL to help others request connections or facilitate the connections yourself.
Your companies job board automatically integrated
After you have your networks built, you can start to search for valuable employees based on your company’s current job openings. With Getro, the open positions on your website career pages are automatically ported into the platform.
You can search in the platform for connections with the title you are looking for and send them the openings directly with only a few clicks.
“You should be willing to do something that will take you five minutes or less for anybody.” ― Adam Grant, Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success
Building networks is crucial to the success of any community. We understand that power isn’t about transactions but about creating real opportunity for relationships.
Through the Getro platform, we strive to make this process as straightforward and simple as possible.
Want to power up your network? Make better intros with Getro.