My week in podcasts

Podcasts I've enjoyed this week

Over the last week or so, I've listened to several podcasts that I think are worth sharing (the dog thinks that they're worth listening to as well, since most of the listening happens while he's on a walk with me).

Stanford Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders:

Marissa Mayer, from Google (5/17/2006).  Marissa is a 30'ish googler, there from pretty much the beginning.  She leads the UI effort on many of the web based products that google provides (search, news).  Her talk provides some insight into the Google world, as well as what has made them strong.

Jackie Spieir and Deborah Stephens.  Jackie is a former state senator, who has concentrated her efforts on work in the public sector.  Deborah has worked in the corporate world, has written several books (including one with Jackie) and took time off to work as Jackie's chief of staff as she was running for the state senate.

Two of the points from Jackie and Deborah's talk that really reasonated with me are:

  1. collaboration is key, and that's a strength that women tend to bring to the table in corporate America. 
  2. Don't  "network"; build relationships. 

Networking is sort of banking on the idea that you are going to get something in return from someone else.  It's "using" someone (even if it's with their consent).  Relationship-building is stronger.  It's working WITH someone.  Knowing what each of you is good at.  You don't know if you are going to get something "in return".  You know that you get their friendship, their support, and ultimately you may do something with that person, or you may not.

The relationship building is really what I've seen taking off in my mind in the last year or so.  It's what draws me to the (smaller) open spaces events.  The people I've met at most of those events have interested me, on a level that doesn't really stop at "networking".  I'm interested in what they do, and I'm happy to be a sounding board for them (and they, for me).  We've built friendships.  I wouldn't feel intimidated about calling people in this circle and asking for a suggestion.  In some cases, we've built private online groups; in other cases, we've used email.  Most of these people have my phone number (and my Skype ID) and I'm happy for them to use it.  We WANTED continue the conversations because they were so darned fun and enlightening that we didn't want them to stop. 

Why is MySpace so successful?  What it is about online communities that is compelling?  It's the relationship.

In any case, those are some of the things that I enjoyed about Deborah and Jackie's talk. They are 2 really great speakers, with a lot of courage, and a great history.  It's definitely worth listening.