Just over 12 months ago I didn’t have a LinkedIn. Scratch that, just over 12 months ago I had never heard of LinkedIn. I was entirely green to the world of business, and my lack of a contact list reflected this. Now, 12 months later, I have just over 600 LinkedIn connections, primarily comprised of quality individuals whom I’ve had enough interactions with to comfortably reach out to at any point in the future. This means that for the past 12 months, on average, I was meeting with 1-2 new people every day.
Having spent the week chatting about getting our companies to scale, managing that scale, and monetizing that scale, I was naturally curious to see how my own network could scale moving forward. This brought up several questions:
-Is it sustainable to expect 100% YoY growth doubling to 1200 connections by the end of next year?
-Is it possible to achieve an even higher growth rate now that I have a pool of connections to start from?
-And finally, will the law of diminishing returns kick in as my number of contacts increases, and as such my net return from this pool of contacts will dead-pool or decrease?
I was chatting about this with Justin Thiele and Alex Benzer over a lobster feast our last night in Boston. After some back and forth, the general consensus seemed to be that while it may very well be sustainable to see 100% YoY network growth, it would become increasingly difficult to maintain these connections and thus some form of the diminishing returns would come into play. I’m not sure what the right answer is, but I’ve made it a personal goal to hit 1200 LinkedIn connections by Jan ’14.
So what do you guys think? Have you experienced diminishing returns from your network as it has grown?