Networking Is More Than Name Collecting

Networking is more than having a hefty collection of business cards and attending A-list parties. Heidi Roizen has been a Silicon Valley CEO, a venture capitalist, and a corporate board member but the homework never ends, she told Stanford Graduate School of Business students.

Today, she counts on such tech luminaries as Bill Gates as one of her pals. Her network is large and powerful. But she admitted that when she began promoting SkinnySongs she, in some ways, had to start all over. Roizen wrote lyrics for her SkinnySongs and then used her easy conversational ability to convince two high-powered Nashville music producers to work with her in getting them produced, funding the venture herself.

“Everyone takes your calls when you’re a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley,” she said. “But when you’re hawking a musical product and calling up the VP of Weight Watchers, they’re not all that psyched to take your call.

“Credibility and power don’t necessarily translate into a different world,” she said.

Recorded: Nov. 6, 2009