In the age of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn what you appear to be on the Internet is, for most of the people who will ever encounter your name, who you are.Chris Yeh knows this. He was once a nobody and now people pay attention to him because he’s managed his reputation.
Over on Sulia he’s written a brief guide for people who want to take advantage of the new paradigm and become viewed as experts and insiders – even if they don’t know anybody or have any experience.
Because it seems like I’m one of the few people in Silicon Valley without any technical background*, a lot of “hustlers” ask me what they can do to be successful.
The first thing I tell them is to attach themselves like a lamprey to smart technologists–something I’ve been doing since 1995. And not in a “I’m looking for a technical co-founder” kind of way. More like a “Could you use a marketing weasel?” kind of way.
But people are so suspicious of us business types these days, you need to do more than that. As one young coder I spoke with noted, “If a person is wearing a suit, I know they must be at least partially evil.” It’s especially hard if you’re young and inexperienced–at least old dudes like me can claim the value of having been there and done that, even if “there” is Chapter 11, and “that” is lose investor money.
So I give them my fool-proof plan to become an expert.
1) Pick a space
2) Register a memorable domain name and start blogging
3) Interview real experts and post the interviews
This gives you a perfect excuse to network within an industry and meet all the important people.
Sadly, I’ve only had one person ever follow my advice, though he’s really run with it:
I even did an initial interview with him to kickstart the project–the link is to prove I knew Tim before he hit the big time:
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Perhaps I would have had better success had I emulated Maneesh Sethi, and called the approach “The Sex Scandal Technique”:
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Maneesh is the younger brother of my old friend Ramit Sethi, and he clearly sprang from the same entrepreneurial stock. Here’s how he describes his technique:
“So what’s the point Maneesh? Are you expecting a lot of readers to watch?”
“I don’t really care man: With my podcast, I have an excuse to meet my biggest role models, get an hour of free consulting with them, and great content for my readers.”
Maneesh has used this technique to do things like become a DJ and party with Tim Ferriss.
Hopefully, his younger and sexier voice can spread this knowledge to more of us “hustlers”!
* Technically, I do have an engineering degree from Stanford, but it was in Product Design, not Computer Science, and the last programming language I learned was Pascal, in 1992.