Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Nostalgia and Linked

I have been usy. Hence the no Blogging. Saturday we moved our Guelph offices from highway 24 to our new Woodlawn facility. It was somewhat nostagic moving out of a building and office I had been in for 20 years. It made me think of all the changes that had happened in that time. It was good reducing the amount of clutter in my life though. I had accumulated a lot of things in those 20 years.

Sunday I ran the Waterloo 10K classic than flew to California where I am writing this. The race was hot so times were long so even with a time of over 49 minutes, I placed 12th in my age out of 33 runners. Not sure it is the best idea to fly for 5 hours after a race though. I was sore.

I recently read the book, Linked - the New Science of Networks by Albert - Laszlo Barabasi. It is a good book in that it is thought provoking and well written. As the title suggests, the gist of the book is about how we are all linked to each other. It discusses the six degrees of separation and how we are likely separated to most other people by six degrees. He also speaks about the Malcolm Gladwell's concept of connectors and how some people are more connected than others. The book refers to Malcolm Gladwell’s concept of hubs and connectors.

From reading the book, I am more inspired to be more connected; however, this perhaps goes against some of my time rules because clearly the more connected, the more time it takes.

Linked also talks about the web and how the winners tend to win in a huge way and there tends to be a few major hubs that everyone refers to (for example, Google). On the web, success begats success and the more links one has, the more likely one is to get more links. Also, the more senior one is on the web – the more likely there is to be more connections (of course that depends on the content). Partly this is because some sites on the web drop out over time. On the web connections, they tend to strengthen in time.

It is interesting to think about what links I have and what value they provide.

The bottom line is that when deciding where to link on the Web, we follow preferential attachment: When choosing between two pages, one with twice as many links as the other, about twice as many people link to the more connected page. While our individual choices are highly unpredictable, as a group we follow strict patterns.

Peferential attachment rules in Hollywood as well. The producer whose job it is to make a movie profitable knows that stars sell movies. Thus casting is determined by two competing factors: the match between the actor and the role, and the actor’s popularity. Both introduce the same bias into the selection process. Actors with more links have a higher chance of getting new roles. Indeed, the more movies an actor has made, the more likely it is that he or she will appear again on the casting director’s radar screen. This is where aspiring actors have a hue disadvantage, a Catch-22 everybody knows both in and out of Hollywood. You need to be known to get good roles, but you need good roles in order to be know.

There is a similar bias in business. I find little successes make bigger ones and over time it becomes easier. Success breeds success.

2 Comments:

At 1:01 PM, Anonymous Kevin said...

Jim,

in the middle of submitting opportunities, this is an inspiring post. Sometimes the little wins are really the big wins and vice versa, hence the connectors you discussed. Most of our large wins have been percieved as little wins. Momentum also plays a big role in the winning.

regards,

 
At 6:33 AM, Blogger Erez said...

Erez Rosner - American Entrepreneur - Co-founder and Chairman of ©Exclusivology International Ltd - The Art of Exclusivity.

Rosner states that Linkedin, facebook and myspace are great online tools for socializing and meeting new people but nothing compares with ItsaSmallWorld website - for its the top of the top and the cream of the crop !

Erez Rosner is Managing Director, APAC
©Exclusivology International Ltd

 

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