Saturday, January 31, 2004

Stanford Business School has just now published all of the videos of their speaker forums including the one on social networking that was sponsored by the MIT/Stanford Venture Lab in which I was a panelist:

Social Networking: Is there a Business Model?
September 2003
link to original event description
link to video of event
    "A handful of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs have created a resurgence of Web sites dedicated to enabling social networking: business contacts, affinity groups and even dating. At the same time other technologists are experimenting with network platforms to enable new communication avenues. These were some of the topics that drew a capacity crowd in September for the MIT/Stanford Venture Laboratory discussion on Social Networking."

Since I was hardly allowed to speak by the moderator, Tony Perkins, I haven’t had the nerve to look at the video myself. But apparently my observations were noticed, at least by this person.
    "There are some great videos over at the Stanford School of Business centre for lifelong learning with a panel discussion and keynote on finding a business model for social networking. Of all the panel members Cynthia Typaldos was the most realistic and informative. She was neither sceptical, nor oblivious."

Friday, January 30, 2004

My Business Networking Predictions for 2004

Network Moves asked me to come up with a list of what 2004 will bring in the area of professional networking.

You can find my predictions on their website along with those of Scott Allen, Nick Corcodilos, Diane Darling, Debra Feldman, Craig Frank, Julie Jansen, and Andrea Nierenberg. I'm last since we "experts" are in last name alphabetical order so you have to scroll down to find my predictions. I'm going to asked them for a named link but until then either read it there, or I'll put it right here in my blog.

So far I think my predictions are holding up pretty well! Of course, it is only the start of the second month of the year...

1. Except in the areas of job/career, yellow pages, and small/local businesses, most online social networking is a dud. Do you really want to sell that crummy old couch to a friend of a friend? For more on this, see my recent blog entry, Social networking is mostly silly.

2. The move to member-owned professional guilds will accelerate as everyone realizes that he or she must be a business of one, taking full ownership of their career. Also, the definition of a career will change from successive promotions in corporations to participation in projects with various organizations and teams, structured around a core competency.

3. At the same time, professionals will demand full ownership of their career and professional data. They will say No to proprietary systems like and various social-networking start-ups.

4. Not having a professional Web presence will be like not having an e-mail address or a phone number.

5. Open-software and open-innovation concepts and implementation will become even more attractive. For more on this, see my list of articles and books on open innovation.

6. Recruiters and executive-search firms will play lesser roles in the acquisition of talent. Human resources and talent managers—those who can find the absolute best person for any project—will become more important and less subjective.

7. Outsourcing will become less of a threat. Non-U.S. companies will hire the best talent anywhere, be it in Boston, San Jose, Bangalore, Singapore, London, or Mexico City. Virtual teams will become the norm.

8. What you have accomplished will become much more important than who you know. Past performance is the best predictor of future performance. Recommendations are simply proxies for understanding a person's work experience. Professionals will use their online portfolios to demonstrate their talents (ResumeBlog is a start). With connections and validations, white-collar professionals will be hired much more for what they can do rather than what others say they can do. This will be welcome news for those who are not part of the "old boys network," especially in high tech.

9. Successful online social-networking business models will be based on membership fees, the ability to match talent with jobs, and a barter economy. (For more on this, see my recent blog entry.)

10. Online social networks will be offered as features of many products—rather than as stand-alone Web sites, services, or tools.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

My Career is MY Business


This is the write-up for a talk I am giving in February 2004

In the syndicated comic strip "Sally Forth"(0), Sally's husband Ted, a middle management drone, types his name into Google and there is no mention of him. He is greatly disappointed and mentions his "absence of presence" to Sally. Sally responds saying that she will hire a programmer to build a website for Ted.

What's wrong and what's right with this scenario?

What's right with this scenario is Ted, a corporate employee, can no longer hide in his cubicle and expect promotions and projects to come to him. The 21st century is the dawn of the "Free Agent Nation"(1) and every white collar professional must manage his/her own career...not only is lifetime employment disappearing but many forms of employment are being replaced by contractors and consultants. No matter what you do, you need to accept this and learn how to market yourself as a business and manage your career. So, Ted needs to get himself visible on the web, because an executive recruiter might at this very moment be typing the keywords into Google that will bring up Ted...i.e. "tax accountant corporate merger" (I have no idea what Ted "does"(3), this is just an example).

What's wrong with this scenario is that Sally thinks she has to get a programmer to build a website for Ted's professional presence. Having someone build a website for you is the worst possible path because who will maintain it? There's a better solution which is....

...the ResumeBlog(TM)!(4) -- a professional web presence that is easy to create and maintain . Additionally, your ResumeBlog is not a lonely island in the vast sea of internet webpages; it is tightly linked with other people in your industry your professional guild, which makes you findable thru traversable links and a higher pagerank(5).

We will discuss all of the above including going thru the very simple steps to create your ResumeBlog so that when you leave this seminar you can go home and in 10 minutes be findable for that next great opportunity! This talk is appropriate whether you are a professional seeking to expand your opportunities, or if you are seeking talent.

Fortune Magazine's columnist/recruiter "Ask Annie"(6) and "Sally Forth" agree -- you gotta have a web presence in the 21st century!


(0) the comic strip is here:, go to Nov 16, 2003
(1) see Dan Pink's website:
(2) read the first two articles by Prof Tom Malone, MIT:
(3) actually comic strip characters don't do anything in between their daily appearance in the newspaper
(4) check out the ResumeBlog instructions!
(5) Google's pagerank algorithm measures the ranking of a page in a search results partly by how many other pages link to it
(6),15704,539758,00.html Ask Annie: Secrets of an Executive Recruiter, 11/10/03