One thing that I love about the New York Tech Community is everyone is so willing to offer help. Its almost as if “let me know if I can help you out” is a standardized signature on emails. The problem with this is few people ever follow through unless there is an explicit ask. This is why people that take the initiative to follow through by really providing help standout.
For starters, if you have any type of relationship with someone or understanding of their situation, you can typically make an intelligent guess how you can help them out. If they’re building a product, actually use it and provide candid feedback. If they’re fundraising, introduce them to investors who specialize in their space. It’s not rocket science. It’s just taking a genuine interest in their success. Far too many people never follow through or wait for the explicit ask to actually do these things. Stop waiting.
Over the course of building Sfter, I sent the an alpha invite to a founder of a booming, growth stage company with a simple “would love to hear your thoughts” at the end of the invite. He responded in typical fashion with a “thank you, I’ll definitely check it out.” I didn’t expect anything. He was a busy guy and I’d become de-sensitized to the “I’ll let you know what I think” after so many people failed to do so. For the record, I’m sure I’ve done this many times and apologize for those instances.
The next day, I had a three paragraph email from him with some amazing feedback and 2 attached screenshots indicating how the product could be improved. I was blown away that he’d taken the time to really think about my product and how it could be improved.
The point is that the job isn’t done after you’ve offered to help. If you really want to stand out, follow through on those offerings and even take the initiative when there’s not an explicit ask. Demonstrating an authentic interest in someone else’s success goes a long way and pays dividends.