Networking always seemed like a big waste of time to meet. Why go to all these events and talk to new people. Why can’t I just focus on building my product. People will recognise greatness when they see it. Won’t they?
It depends. Do they already know you? Have you met them before? If that’s not true, you’ve just made things harder for yourself.
Let me explain on Prevoz.org: every month, somebody wants to buy it. If they don’t want to outright buy it, they have a complicated business idea. They also don’t want to share it in writing. It’s always in personal meeting. The problem is – I don’t know them and they usually have no knowledge about this area of business. Which means that it’s a huge waste of time for both of us. I’ll have to explain to them why it won’t work or why I won’t sell you the site for pocket money. This is stressful and has negative impact on my other work.
What does that has to do with networking and introductions? Everything. It means that if you send me an email from your personal gmail address, I will most likely reject you. Many previous failures taught me that it’s not worth the time.
There are only two exceptions: you email me from a reputable business address (think agency or company that I heard of) or you’re introduced by someone I know. It’s a low barrier to entry, but most of prevoz.org business email I get, doesn’t pass it.
Extrapolating from my personal experience, I can see why professional networking is important. It’s not a silver bullet – just a foot in the door. But that should be enough. Professional community is small (even on global scale!). Getting that introduction from mutual acquittance shows that you did your research.