# How math can make you better at networking? More than you can imagine.

### Also, there's a quasi-quantifiable method of defining what 'networking' is.

I bet all of you know the feeling of anxiety. Overwhelming you in completely random places. Welp. Maybe the promise I made you about a post every week or two did not factor in such an occurrence. But I’m back. And hope to bring you more stuff than ever.

~~The~~~~audio version~~~~will be released with a delay. Dem covid lungs still linger, unfortunately.~~We got it, people!

Today’s going to be a bit about abstract concepts that dissect networking into smaller chunks. To help you understand what’s important. And also to allow us to work on our game more thoughtfully. Which is bloody useful as when we identify parts of which the formula equals networking, we can tweak each separately.

„What can you do to make your networking practice better?” stops being the question. Instead, we’re going towards „Which aspect of the game will have the biggest impact for us right now? What should we focus on?”.

#### Ashwin Mathews’ networking formula and my expansion of it.

There’s a post on X by @shw1nm about his idea for networking in a new place. It’s a nice piece looking at the process from a more structural point of view. One I had not considered much before.

My approach (and discovery) to the mathematics of networking made me fall in love with it in the first place, though. That’s why this resonates with me so much, I think. But that’s the story of the future. Right now, it’s Ashwin’s time.

For those unwilling to go to X to read the whole post but still interested, here’s the AI summary:

The author of the post was limited by their network and decided to make a change after YC and another accelerator reached out saying they'd be interested in their business on the condition they add a co-founder. The author viewed this as a sales pipeline and needed to increase collisions and conversion. To increase collisions, the author identified three main avenues: passive, outbound, and inbound.

The author decided to move to a tech-y neighborhood, work from WeWork instead of home, and join a class-based gym. To increase conversion, the author looked at people in their current network they would co-found a company with and found patterns in their hobbies. The author started going to tech meet-ups and asking people if they're interested in doing those things. One week of this change and the author already has golf scheduled and has met a lot of pretty cool people.

The key lessons from the post are that increasing collisions and conversion are important for building a network. To increase collisions, it is important to set yourself up for collisions during activities you do daily, go to meetups, and host a group. To increase conversion, it is important to filter for cultural fit. The author found patterns in their network and started going to tech meet-ups and asking people if they're interested in doing those things. The author's experience shows that making small changes can lead to big results in building a network.

### After such an introduction - let’s see how math and relationship-building combine.

Ashwin’s concept splits the networking game in two: **collision** and **conversion**. What’s that about?

**Collision**is about about creating opportunities for meeting people. Crossing paths and setting up systems for increasing your luck. (Following Naval’s advice on getting lucky)Increasing the exposition to other people having the highest chance of being aligned with us. Let it be values-/interest-/personality-wise.

Answering the question „Where would people I’d love to connect with reside?” - and then attending such places regularly.

**Conversion**is about engaging with people after colliding with them. And translating such collision into a relationship.It’s not enough just to bump into human beings out there. We need to somehow form some kind of a bond - or even strike up a conversation - which will result in the creation of a new social link.

The mathematical beauty of such a formula struck me. Especially since my mathematical analysis of networking is about a completely different piece of thinking. (one day, will back to it)

### For now, let’s analyze what we’ve got!

**Networking** = **Collision** * **Conversion Rate**

**Building your relationships** = Number of** people you meet** * **How many **of those** stay **within your orbit.

It’s a derivative of a simplified sales process formula! (Number of qualified leads * conversion rate) (And since I’m the guy working with sales processes for quite a while, a wide grin appeared on my face.)

But as in the sales process, we MIGHT want to introduce a third parameter. Weight. (Or if we want to keep the ‚C’ theme, may I propose ‚**Captivation**’?) Simply put, how much of the value can one derive from the person one networks with? In abstract terms, assuming value means something completely different for each of us.

**Networking** = **Collision** * **Conversion Rate** * **Average Captivation**

**Building your relationships** = Number of **people you meet** * **How many** of those **stay** within your orbit * **How much**, on average, **value** for you they generate

Sounds reasonable, innit? But.

PARDON ME. But. I’d like to propose yet another parameter. **Cohesion** (or Commitment - let me know which would be better) factoring in the intensity and length of the relationship.

**Networking** = **Collision** * **Conversion Rate** * **Average Captivation** * **Average Cohesion**

**Building your relationships** = Number of **people you meet** * **How many** of those **stay** within your orbit * **How much**, on average, **value** for you they generate * **How long**, on average, those **relationships last**

And that’s why that’s interesting so much! At least for me. The mathematical beauty and simplicity. Now, we can add parameters/values that help us understand what’s going on.

Let’s assume we’re starting from the ground. With our own formula. Simply put a value of 1-10 by each parameter. It’s going to be a subjective feeling about the particular subject. Got it? Let’s analyze and identify what’s lacking. And then think about how it can be fixed.

Do we need to increase

**Collision**and bump into more people?Are we putting ourselves out there enough? Do we create opportunities?

Or maybe we’re meeting enough people but the

**Conversion**could be better?How do we conduct the conversation? Do we take the initiative? Are we in the right place with the right people?

What if we’re colliding with and converting tons of people who don’t provide us with much value, and don’t

**Captivate**us?What do we expect from those people? Is the place we’re in colliding (yup, heh) with our values and goals? What are our goals and do we follow them?

And what if those people don’t

**Cohesively**stick around too much or even remember us after a while?How do we maintain the relationship? Do we take an interest in our connections? Do they care as much about you as you do about them?

It’s worth sitting down and having a brief moment of self-reflection. What does my current formula look like? Remember, those things change over time, monitor them! Also, it’s all subjective - let yourself know how you feel about each aspect at the moment.

### For me, I’d say in January of 2024 my formula looks like this:

**Michal’s Networking** = High Collision (8/10) * High Conversion (8/10) * Medium Captivation (5/10) * Low Cohesion (3/10)

Right now, I’m aware I need to work on keeping up to date with folks I want to. And examine some names I’m trying to stay in touch with. I’m bloody anxious about social media, communicators, and the cultural expectation of being constantly available. Thus, there’s a great need for me to work out a new framework that’ll work for me. Because the current one doesn’t seem to be satisfying.

So. What does your formula look like? **What’s the function of your Collision, Conversion, Captivation, and Cohesion?**