Why You Are Missing All The Signals

I get a lot of requests from individuals and companies to partner with them to work on projects. Partnering can range from advising a startup, working on in-kind or paid projects or just having a conversation around a specific topic. Each one of these engagements, I guess you could consider is a sort of interview, for lack of a better description.

Many of these requests never get past email or phone call, but some move forward quickly. I recently had a company who was looking to partner with me on research in a specific area. I got on the phone with the company after brief email exchange, and the conversation started with someone from this company saying, “I haven’t really looked up much about you, but wanted to talk and learn more.” Immediately the conversation took an interview tone, went on for about 15 minutes and ended. Shortly afterwards I got an email requesting 2 references the company could use.

Now, I don’t have a problem with interviews or providing work references, I’m capable of delivering on both. What I have a problem with is not conducting your due diligence, before getting on a call, and using the legacy interview process as a crutch for your lack of desire to understand who someone is. If you are going to partner with someone, get to know them. Period.

If you don’t Google my name, you are missing out. I’m pretty accessible. You can look at my Blogs, Twitter and Github, and get a pretty good understanding of who I am. I’m working on over 50+ projects, engaging in active conversations on Twitter, and actively pushing stories and code to my blogs, using Github. I understand that not everyone is like this in their personal and professional lives, but you should be aware enough to look, and be willing to do 15 minutes of Googling—the minimum viable due diligence these days.

In short, if you are missing all the signals I’m putting out daily, we probably aren’t a good partnership. I’ll decline your request politely, and move on. There is nothing wrong with that, it happens in life all the time. The whole process acts as a great filtration process for me, I just wanted to share with you, so that you can understand. Its not me, its you, or maybe its both of us.