By Marina Krakovsky
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Extra resources for The Middleman Economy: How Brokers, Agents, Dealers, and Everyday Matchmakers Create Value and Profit
What’s more, many other jobs in our complex economy have a less obvious middleman component. Think of wedding planners, those stylish and ultra-organized women and men who orchestrate the big event and help keep the bride from becoming bridezilla; that doesn’t sound like a middleman job—until you consider all the vendors (such as the florist, the baker, the wedding-gown maker) who must be carefully selected and, equally important, held to the highest standard of their professions. Lawyers, too, act as middlemen when they broker deals.
His stake in the company is now valued at tens of millions of dollars; perhaps most important, his association with Dropbox also burnished Nozad’s name as someone whom investors and entrepreneurs should take seriously, enabling him to go from angel investor to founding partner in his own VC firm, Pejman Mar Ventures, thus formalizing his middleman role between young entrepreneurs and people with funds to invest. Pejman Mar Ventures is currently housed in an airy loft in downtown Palo Alto, just a few blocks from the Medallion Rug Gallery, where Nozad began building his network.
Friendship is a two-way street, as concerned with the other person as with yourself, whereas professional networking often involves cultivating a relationship with the ultimate goal of personal gain, and most of us hate feeling that we’re being selfish, let alone using another person. These unpleasant feelings deter us from networking more often. How do you overcome this psychological obstacle? The research suggests that one way is to think of your networking efforts as a way to help friends. If that sounds like blurring the lines between business and friendship, that’s because it is—in a good way.