I just reached a pretty cool milestone. I now have more than 1,000,000 potential contacts in CTD.
It means I can get to 1,000,000 people through a strong, familiar, or weak connection in CTD. Basically, through a friend, I can get introduced to or get a little insight on +1M people.
Having learned from hundreds of great networkers over the years, I’ve found that they rarely approach strangers. Instead, they connect with friends of friends. See writer David Burkus’ TED talk for a great unpacking of this concept. He explains, “It’s about understanding the network around you and acting accordingly. The best way to go out of your circle is to go through your circle.”
I used CTD to create my Supergraph. It’s pretty simple.
Connect your LinkedIn. Connect your Personal Email. Connect your Work Email.
CTD uses AI to merge all these contacts and then score them based on relationship strength, not just a binary connection like LinkedIn.
I’ve got 19k contacts, and 2k of these are strong and familiar.
On CTD, I’ve got 540 connectors. 18% are coworkers, 17% are customers, 13% are former colleagues. Investors, advisors, friends & family were other big sources of strong connectors for me.
For each of the connectors above, I’m sharing my network with them, and they’re sharing, on average, 2.2k contacts with whom they have a strong, familiar, or weak relationship.
When breaking down your network, you'll also realize the importance of Super Connectors.
Typically they're CEOs and Investors who are sharing 5k-10k contacts where they have relationships. These are the kinds of people we interview on Who Got Me Here. Nick Mehta, the CEO of Gainsight, estimates that he’s probably making 1k introductions a year. You want people like Nick in your network. People with clout, relevant networks, and aligned incentives.
Build your list of people you think would be good connectors. Remember, your coworkers, former colleagues, investors, recruiters, champions, and CEOs, are all terrific people to connect with. You can send these lists using role-based email templates. The size of my network grew 8x in the last 18 months by adding connectors. In the coming year, it’s easy to imagine adding another 540 connectors and doubling my network again.
And it's not a massive time commitment. Connect a couple of accounts, create lists of your relationships, and send off a bunch of invites. The other big lever is getting all your coworkers on the platform. A 1k-person company could add 1k connectors overnight, which creates a ton of relationship equity for all those connected to the graph. As an individual, once you've built your network, you have it for life. This helps you get the most out of your relationship equity.
I’ve got 1M potential contacts, but a disproportionate amount of them are in tech and finance because that’s where my network is strongest. If you asked me to crack someone in the Oil and Gas Business, or Education, I’d have a tough time doing that. But if you were to say, what’s your best path to Elon Musk, Sam Altman, or Sheryl Sandberg, I’d have a pretty good answer for you.
Hard-to-reach people are one thing that a big network affords you. But the typical use case is being able to play the name game with people. Getting context on who they know. Maybe asking if they’re comfortable sharing insight or making an intro. A quick ask goes a long way.
The other big benefit of 1M potential contacts is the quick creation of lists. Using dynamic filters, you can look for people who work at a company or match certain titles, seniority levels, functions, or geographies. What are the relationship maps you’ll use over and over again?
We’ll have to devise a formalized way to celebrate other people’s 1M connector milestone. Maybe a flying unicorn or a narwhal animation ;-)