What are the strengths and weaknesses of Roizen’s network at the end of the case? Heidi Roizen has invested time and effort in developing and sustaining relationships/networks in the computer industry, especially in the Silicon Valley area, throughout her professional career. As she moves into her venture capitalist role, her networking efforts have the following strengths - •
Includes executives including CEO’s, thereby giving her the experience of interacting with these business leaders. Since she has established relationships with many and her credibility is proven, which is an important criterion for business leaders; this is a critical skill in her new role. •
Since she is not only well known in the internet industry but is also well respected, her joining Softbank provides positive feedback about the new group making it an attractive opportunity for many. Her current role is different from her prior jobs in that it requires making go/no-go funding decisions about start-up companies rather than establish a network of contact to help develop the business she was involved in. This fundamental difference in her role will put strains on her vast network as well as herself. Namely- •
Reject projects from her acquaintances. Even though she has been making concerted efforts to reach out to those affected by these adverse decisions, there is a good possibility that some people will let these decision impact their personal/professional relationships with her. Since, she is very values her relationships a lot I imagine such issues will negatively affect her at a personal level. This has the potential of having a negative impact on her credibility in the industry •
Trying to manage her network will put constraints on her professional and/or personal life. As she mentions that she spends two hours per day sending out rejection notes, I believe for her to be able to sustain this she will need to put in extra hours at work or compromise the quality of work. •
Create internal conflict for herself by deviating from her philosophy of helping others when it is a mutually beneficial situation for both, since in her current role she is feeling pressured to help people by referring them to the companies she is tied with.
2) What specific steps did Roizen take to develop her network? To maintain it? Heidi Roizen is a very well know business leader in the computer industry sector, especially in Silicon Valley. During the course of her career she has built a vast network of connections. The basic reason for her vast network can be attributed to her innate extrovert and high energy personality coupled with a desire to interact and help people with high caliber and engaging personalities. In addition, she was also required to cultivate relationships to support the software company, T/Maker, which she co-founded in the early phase of her career. The primary objective was to market the company’s product. Her strategies towards developing relationships included -
Follow the ‘what can I offer’ approach. In her interactions with people she planned carefully on how to help their projects/needs. During her time at Tandem, she had opportunity to work with the company’s CEO’s and through her approach she built relationships with the CEO. Her relationship benefited her professionally as he recommended her for the Stanford MBA program. •
Identify organizations and people that will help her initiatives and engage them through meaningful contributions in their activities. To promote her company, T/Maker, Heidi networked with the press, the software entrepreneur’s forums and the software publishers association. Through her contributions she has established sustainable relationships, as is evident by the glowing reviews paid to her by business leaders such as Brian Gentile of eALITY Inc. •
Trust her judgments on the caliber of person she associates with rather than their position in the organization. The paper gives instances where she built...
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