The Art of Making Things Easy

by Scott

Many people miss opportunities because they don’t make things easy when they ask for something.

The best way to increase the number of positive responses you receive when you ask for anything, is to make it as easy as possible for the other person to follow through. The more difficult fulfilling a request appears, the less likely they are to do it.

I want to take this opportunity to highlight a few examples of “making things easy” done right so people know what this looks like.



This is an email from my buddy David Fraga. Instead of making me hoof it over to the Shutterstock site to fetch all this information to forward along, he linked to it throughout the ask email. He …
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BD Best Practice: Taking A LinkedIn Inventory

by Scott

Business Development professionals live and die by their network. Thus, many of us end up living and dieing by our LinkedIn.

LinkedIn’s greatest value is that it provides transparency to the personal networks of  my immediate network in the form of 2nd degree connection. This information is often the gateway to the deals, partnerships, and sales we strive for on a continuous basis. Consequently, it’s in all business development practitioners best interest to expand their *true LinkedIn network. After all, the difference between the deal of a lifetime and no-deal could be just one warm introduction. But in order to even identify these opportunities there must be transparency.

A best practice to make sure you’re effectively engaging in this is to schedule …
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How To Ask Someone For a Coffee Meeting

by Scott

I encounter a lot of people who want to “get coffee sometime.”

A lot of them are younger people I haven’t met or brief acquaintances looking for advice or help.

If you fall into this category (vs. a friend/colleague), there are effective ways to go about asking for coffee that make people more likely to meet with you as well as elicit a greater sense of respect for their time.


I’m breaking this down into two parts.

1. How to increase your odds that a busy, cool person will meet with you

2. An effective way to ask for a coffee meeting

Increasing the Odds This Person Will Meet For Coffee

You’ve identified the person you’d like to grab a cup of joe …
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How to Start Using Twitter and Building Your Presence (Non-Toolish Remix 1.0)

by Scott

Getting started on twitter can be daunting. What does RT mean? Who do I follow? Is there etiquette on here? Why did @sexylexy46 who follows 45,000 people and is followed by 5 just follow me? I wondered all these things when I started out and did a lot of stupid things in the process of trying to build a digital presence. I have a lot of friends trying to “break in” to the startup scene, so I figured I wrote a post on my learnings to help them avoid some mistakes I made.

This is my unofficial guide of how to get started and build a digital presence on twitter – something that’s really useful for people looking to break into …
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My BD Toolkit

by Scott

I thought it might be useful to highlight some products I use on the reg for BD.


For those that aren’t familiar, Rapportive is a gmail plugin that populates social profile information attached to an email address in your inbox. It sharpens my BD blade in a variety of ways:

Context/Rapport Building – People are constantly eliciting relevant events or things they’re interested in through facebook and twitter. Rapportive helps me identify these signals which can be used to add a personal touch to an email.

For example, if someone was writing me an email right now, rapportive might inform them that Mashable just covered the newest release of the YP App and the extension of our partnership. This is news they might …
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How to Ask for An Email Introduction

by Scott

There are effective practices when asking for email introduction that respect the time and circumstance of all parties. I’ve really come to appreciate these and wish more people approached introduction requests this way.



Here’s how I approach asking for an email introduction:

Step 1: Preliminary Request for An Introduction

You’ve identified that someone in your network is connected to the person you’re trying to reach. Send them a brief preliminary intro request to gauge the strength of their relationship and willingness to connect.  An example script:

Hi X,

I was looking to get introduced to Johnny Dealmaker from Project X and saw you were connected to him. Not sure how well you’re connected to him, but if the relationship is strong, I’d really appreciate …
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10 Reasons You Should Consider Blogging

by Scott

I’ve grown to love blogging and it’s served me well, but it wasn’t always this way. I started blogging because someone in tech I respected told me “I needed to have a digital presence.”

This rationale for blogging doesn’t sound all that compelling. Maybe that’s why there’s far more cheerleaders on the sidelines than players on the field.

Here’s 10 reasons I advocate starting a blog in no particular order:

1. Crystallize Your Thoughts

Often the best way to master a skill is to try and teach it to someone else. When it comes to mastering your thoughts, I’ve found attempting to communicate them in a concise, convincing manner to be highly effective. When we write, we dwell on our thoughts. And when we …
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The Biggest Networking Fail

by Scott

If there is one networking virtue I wish I knew earlier in my career it’d be consistency. Tell me if this story sounds familiar:
I go to the Crunchtech Explosion Conference. I meet the contact of my dreams and we end up having an awesome conversation. After exchanging information I send a thoughtful follow-up email. I get a response. I’m so in! Time passes and I thrust myself back into my normal routine.

Months later I realize that the company I’d like to do a partnership with is extremely close to the dream contact I met that day. I want to email him for an introduction request, but it just feels weird. We haven’t talked for four months. I wonder if they …
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