Don’t Carpet Bomb For Introductions

Recent Pet Peeve: Being asked to make an introduction to someone without being told that other people were being simultaneously asked to make the same intro – ie “carpet bombing” someone with requests. (second pet peeve: people who publish blog posts about their pet peeves. third: people who use the word ‘pet peeve’).

So the scenario goes something like this: Person A wants to get connected to Person B. Person A pings Persons C, D, E, F… individually, noting that they’re connected to Person B and can they make intro. Persons C+ then each ping Person B asking about making intro to Person A. Person B responds with anything from “sure (by the way, several other people have pinged me)” to annoyance to having received multiple emails about the same thing (especially if they’ve already followed up with saying ‘no’ or ‘yes’).

I’m totally cool with parallel processing when something is urgent – if Apple just pulled your app from app store and you’re desperately trying to reach that team, please yes, ping me along with as many others as you need. But for basic, non-time sensitive introductions, it kinda sucks. I get Person A’s motivation: they’re trying to find the connection, copy/paste to a bunch of strong/weak intermediaries, looking for who can help them but in actuality they’re practicing asymmetrical warfare on Person C+ time and social capital. Why?

1. We all spent time pinging the same person with the same request (cumulative cost = everyone you asked * 5-10 minutes per person).

2. The person you wanted a connection to only has so much bandwidth and they used up multiple cycles opening and responding to emails. Additionally I want them to know I value their time and will only approach them with requests I believe are valid and mutually beneficial. Making me the deliverer of a generic message that was also in the hands of several other carriers, commodifies my relationship with them. Look, this is high level wu-tang shit, but I’m trying to communicate a real aspect of human interaction without sounding like a total asshole (half-successful?).

3. The person you wanted to connect with may also see you as a little mental because you’re peppering them with inbounds for something that might not be urgent. Like if you are crushing on a girl you just met and all her friends keep telling her how you told them how much you like her. Creepy.

So please, serialize your requests unless they’re urgent. Or at least disclose to me that you’ve tried to reach this person before without success or are in-motion on some other entry points.

sidenote: to the handful of people I’ve recently asked to not do this to me. No this isn’t about *just* you and yes, I still love you.

One thought on “Don’t Carpet Bomb For Introductions

  1. Pingback: Introductions | Paul Maiorana / Notes

Comments are closed.