Sometimes it feels like I've stepped into an episode of James Burke's Connections.

When we started this adventure, our contacts we're minimal. We knew we had to start thinking about our investment strategy, legal representation, etc… but didn't really know where to start.

Then a few things happened.

I read about NWEN in a post by John Cook at the Seattle PI. After perusing their website I signed up for a few of their seminars. The seminars in themselves were very interesting and I learnt a bunch, but I also got some contacts and had some interesting chats. Introductions started.

And those introductions spawned others.

Then John wrote specifically about SwitchGear.

That post generated a lot of contact from the investment community and others.

Those contacts spawned meetings and introductions, including some fine corporate law firms who we met with to chat about having them represent us.

Even though we have to pick only one, these folks still introduced us to others, both potential investors and CEO's at other startups (some quite spectacularly well known!) who are willing to give us advice.

The classic quote goes “It's not what you know, but who you know.”

I agree to a point, but when we were starting out I was worried about “how do I get to know the people I need to know?”

The answer?

Have a great idea that is easy to communicate, compelling and be passionate about it.

Find one person to talk to, communicate well and get them on board. It goes exponential from there.

As a postscript, I believe that I owe John Cook a few beers in thanks by now :-)