Image for post
Image for post

“Brain-Picking” is for Zombies

Here are better ways to ask for someone’s time

Joseph Flaherty, Director of Content & Community

In addition to conjuring a heave-inducing visual, asking someone if you can “pick their brain” is a waste of time — Absent a pre-existing relationship, it’s basically the equivalent of a cold call. Here are some ways to ask for time that won’t make you sound like a zombie:

❓ Figure out what you are asking

📈 Do you want feedback on a biz plan?
📜 Someone to review your resume?
🗺️ Help in understanding a new market?
🗨️ To talk through potential career paths?
🕵️‍♂️ Intel on a competitor?

A specific request will be better received than for general “brain-picking.”

📝 Show your work

🎁 Accentuate the benefits for the person you’re meeting

🔎 Do your homework

“I read your posts about SaaS, and had some questions on the finer points…”

“You’ve been involved with half a dozen travel companies, what do you think about this…”

“Given your experience raising $107M in VC, can you advise me before I meet with investors next month?”

🐁 Start small

🐢 Be persistent

The startup industry is special in that it is more open to networking than any other professional sphere, but the opportunity has to be pursued thoughtfully. Aim for a meeting of the minds, not a picking of the brains.

Written by

Our mission is to be the most aligned VC for founders at seed. #ProudInvestor in @Uber @TheTradeDeskinc @Buzzfeed @Cruise @Diaandco @PillPack @SeatGeek & more.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store