Fang, thank you for this post. It is quite refreshing to hear this. There’s not too many people who let their hair down and talk about this issue. I hope you continue on this thoughtful path and never lose yourself.
Your post has also made me reflect on my past. I came to Stanford, only knowing a few people, and I was focused on maintaining my relationship with them and performing well in my classes. But as time went by, my friends made new friends, and I was still trying to hold onto the ones I had come to know so well. I realized then that having more friends, even if they are weak ties, can be more fruitful than only having a close group. I soon realized that I would need to reach out if I was going to have any friends. When I did, I made more friends, and some of them were friends with my close friends. I soon had more close friends, and a bunch of others that weren’t as close. I could share my deepest thoughts with my close friends, and then gain new ideas from my new friends. It was great!
As I began to do more internships and search for a full time job, I came to cherish the not as close friends even more. Overall, they have been very beneficial to me and have made me see things from a different perspective. I wouldn’t have this perspective if I only relied on my closer friends.
I’m not saying one way is more right than the other, I’m just pointing out that we are all different, and it’s important to choose according to you, not what the norm is or what your friends do. Always stay true to you!
I’m sorry to make this post so long, but I do have a few points I’d like to touch on:
1) Regarding your mention of the Bay Area start-up that turned down a relationship with a big-name Japanese company, I’m really surprised to hear that this startup acted this way. Did they really turn down the relationship because of time and maintenance? Even if they didn’t work with that Japanese company, at least saying yes to the relationship (just being friendly and sending a card, wine, etc.) would have been a better answer from the start-up, right? What are your thoughts? Were you surprised by the decision?
2) I’m not sure I agree with the idea that for someone to become a close tie it takes years. I think it’s important to prove trustworthiness, which can take some time, but in my experience and others that I know, developing close ties can take as little time as a few months.
3) To add a bit to your talk on social media, managing social media needs to be done right. It’s important to post regularly, but if it’s too much, you’ll lose followers. I know you commented on my blog about successful social media strategies, and thank you!! I just wanted to point others to my blog titled Audience Engagement & Presence in Online Media in case they haven’t read these strategies. http://theblogofruth.com/uncategorized/audience-engagement-presence-in-online-media/ I think they’re pretty helpful.
Again, thank you for this blog post, Fang. It was very insightful, and I enjoyed reading what you wrote.