Foursquare in South East Asia

Foursquare is a simple mobile based service that gives you the ability to checkin to places you visit on a daily basis. In return you get badges, rewards and it turns into a social activity that keeps your friends updated with the whereabouts that you choose to share. The surprising factoid is about its massive adoption in SEA. It generates a tremendous amount of very valuable data that can be used in a host of third party applications. If you are building a social product in SEA you should definintely look into integrating foursquare into it.

Relationships Built on Air

2011 is shaping up to be one of the busiest years I have ever had. Projects that I had started working on years ago, are finally starting to pay dividends and Identifii keeps on growing! Looking at Fred Wilson, Brad Feld & Seth Godin’s daily blogs I am always humbled at their ability to blog everyday. A pattern that is clearly visible in their blogs is that there is always some immediate context to what they write about daily and that is something that I hope to incorporate more.

Today I received the following message:

Dear Usman, SInce I have never heard back from you I do understand that there had been no serious contact from your side in regard my application. I consider there is at this point also no interest to remain in contact for any other mutual co-operation. Wish you best of luck in your future.

This is a person who connected with me out of the through a weak acquaintance and wanted me to assist her in finding a relevant position in the Middle East. I sent her details to a couple of people, however there was no interest. After that life moved on and today, probably 7 – 8 months after no contact I get the following skype message, not an email. 

I found the message very interesting. It epitomizes the notion of a one sided transactional relationship.

If someone wants to learn how to build a strong network of contacts, this is exactly the opposite of what should be done. Building a strong network requires you to be available and to give to others rather than to always want something back from the other person. Building a relationship where you are constantly seeking to add value is hard and takes time. At the same time, that network becomes the most powerful asset you have. Always look for ways to add value when establishing new relationships, rather than activating the network when you need them for something,