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Superconnect: Harnessing the Power of Networks and the Strength of Weak Links Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged
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From Publishers Weekly
Entrepreneur Koch (The 80/20 Principle) and investor Lockwood break down the three types of connection--strong links: long-lasting relationships with friends and family; weak links: relationships with acquaintances; and hubs: the junction of several strong and weak links, such as businesses, social circles, schools, nations. The rock stars of social connections and networking are the eponymous "superconnectors"--individuals and businesses who are disproportionately connected (and significantly more successful as a result)--and their specific talents hold far-reaching implications for market structure, strategy, and industrial policy. Through lively case studies and stories, the authors explore how the Internet has changed links, the new rules and characteristics of a hyperlinked society, and how firms and individuals can benefit from the all-important weak links. Weak links, or casual contacts, are a crucial resource; requiring little work or effort, these relationships "deliver enormous dividends," and this smart and thought-provoking analysis explains how individuals and businesses can harness their power for almost any kind of professional advancement.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Since Koch has been about equally successful as an entrepreneur and investor and as a business author, he is someone worth listening to. --The Independent
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Top Customer Reviews
The hubs that we choose to get involved with (for example, the company that we work for) are crucial for our success. Join a fast rising firm in a growing industry, and it will be difficult not to do very well.
Smart people choose jobs, activities or places to live that will expose them to a wide range of people and ideas, because they know that one of these `weak links' can be the source of their own defining idea or enterprise. Once upon a time we lived in villages where we knew perhaps 100-200 people. This small world limited our opportunities in every way, whereas today our lives are richer because we are exposed to people and ideas from everywhere.
The book is full of great tips on business strategy, as you would expect from Koch. One of the surprising things he notes is that online business is more monopolistic and concentrated than regular commerce. In search engines, for instance, there is really only Google, in online communities there is now really only Facebook. Thus the creation of such hubs, with their vast promise of wealth and influence, is the obvious goal of the entrepreneur. In such ways we can use network effects to our own advantage - but if we are not aware of network and hub theory in the first place, we are flying blind.
Many of the ideas Koch talks introduces us to are counter-intuitive, but once we own them we have a tremendous advantage.
The book is structured in thirteen chapters that address many already known and discussed issues such as the concept of the Small World, the existence of Superconnectors (individuals that have the capacity of making many weak ties and utilizing them to raise interpersonal relationships), Hubs and their meaning at individual and societal level, the importance and real meaning of Cyberspace, the detailed description of the importance of Networks in society, how Business relates to all these issues, and how Business has contributed to build sociological principles that may apply to our singular existences. A last chapter is dedicated on how networks and superconnectors can actually act in reducing poverty both in first world and third world realities. Each chapter has a summary of the state of the art of the issue and is followed by a number of interviews and personal experiences of various active members of society, which make the reading very vital and stimulating.
Basically the concept goes that weak ties work better for expansion of job opportunities and the evolution of society than strong ties, which often limit and trap initiatives and creative thinking. But as a corollary to this initial concept, the authors also explore the importance of Hubs in the diffusion of ideas. An enlightening historical example is that of Paul (for Christ) and Lenin (for Marx) as creators of hubs that actually did the marketing of the ideas invented by the predecessors.
This book is conceived in the context of business world, however it can be useful for anyone at every level. It incredibly gives a push towards a major opening up of mentality and social behavior and positively affects the way we think.