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Ali started his career in 2014, but instead of going the traditional finance route and working his way up the food chain he decided to strike out on his own. Today, his fund manages hundreds of millions of dollars—investing in startups and emerging assets like crypto and exotic credit (think financing TikTok creators.)
One of the tools Ali used to start so quickly on his own is his ability to network. He began fresh out of school without knowing anyone, so he had to bootstrap his network from scratch—meeting founders, partners, and potential LPs along the way.
Much like Peter Boyce, he’s made finding the right people and connecting them together a huge part of his early success—and he agreed to share with us the tools he uses to do that.
Today’s Action Item is 3 minutes and 30 seconds of actionable reading.
Let’s dive in!
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📙 Ali wrote research reports to get investors to pay attention
When Ali first left school he needed a way to break into the world of venture capital. Along with a friend, Brian Harwitt, he wrote research reports to get attention.
“What we would do is build these research reports about certain industries and send them to venture capitalists who had portfolio companies in that industry.”
You can see an example of a research report he wrote here.
About one out of 100 would respond, but that one response would turn into a valuable relationship.
This shows a classic principle of networking: if you can be valuable to people you’re trying to meet, you’re more likely to get a response. You have to give to get.
🥃 He made himself the man in the middle
In order to cement his relationships, Ali began to introduce people in his network to each other by suggesting that the three of them get drinks together.
It was a way for him to get a seat at the table with people who wouldn’t ordinarily spend time with him:
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The Everything bundle now has 10 paid newsletters including Superorganizers. Here are a few articles from around the bundle that you might like:
📐 Should You Invest In Wish?, by Adam Keesling in Napkin Math
🔮 Why Salesforce Bought Slack, by Nathan Baschez in Divinations
🗒 How I Made a Documentary Film with Digital Notes, by Tiago Forte in Praxis