Your network is your net worth.

—Porter Gale1

The most life-changing discovery I have made as an entrepreneur is the realization that meaningful business transactions only happen when the parties actually know and like each other. That is because companies don’t do deals, people do. This seemingly trivial detail somehow was never taught or discussed in any of my undergraduate economics courses at Stanford or business and contract law courses at Yale Law School. Prior to this realization, I rather naively believed that business deals were made when the parties evaluated the pros and cons of the business relationship and then made a purely objective, rational decision to proceed when the pros outweighed the cons. ...

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