Why work at connecting with others? Why use social networks to reach out to colleagues and potential business partners? Our friend, Christopher S. Penn from the Student Loan Network, couldn't have said it better:
Because the wider your net, the greater your opportunities.
A large bank in California hit me up on Facebook on Wednesday. Their student loan provider went out of business. A friend of a friend referred them to me.
Deal signed. The value: seven figures.
Cost? Only the cost of maintaining the net.
Jim Canterucci, CEO and founder of Transitional Management Advisors and author of the book Personal Brilliance, said this about connecting:
Practically, the answer to "why social media?" is about opportunity cost. Yes, we can get by without it, but what are we missing when we aren't connected. Last week, I signed a business transaction that was facilitated exclusively on Twitter. I would have been fine in my ignorance. But, rather we now have this new business. Opportunity cost—what is possible?
Now, to the bigger question: Do we need the resulting innovation taking place in social media? Did we really need the printing press, the automobile, the television, the airplane?
If you really think about it, we could have gotten by without these innovations. We didn't really need product. But, what we do need is the process of innovation, the habit of creating new things and turning them into a practical application, to help fulfill our nature as humans.
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