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Saturday, June 25, 2022

The Golden Rule: How Matchmaking Can Help Your Peers

Have you ever met someone and thought to yourself “this person would really click with this other person I know”?

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It’s a relatively commonplace occurrence. The sheer volume of interactions we go through in our lives means that we often find ourselves being the not-quite-the-right person in the right place. Typically, we tend not to think of it any further, yet sometimes the impression is strong enough that you might take on the role of a matchmaker. It’s a scenario often heard when infatuated couples tell the story of how they met: “oh they were a friend of a friend, so they set up a date – and yes, my dear Penny and Luke, that is how I met your mother”.

Taking a big leap from sitcoms, the same fickle nature of coincidences apply to the world of business. Companies, investors and entrepreneurs are all out there looking for something or someone, that being made up of an equally diverse pool of specifications. The facet of business where a vacancy requires urgent filling is as important as the personal complexion of whoever ends up taking the entailed responsibilities on board.

Headhunters are an industry all their own; they pride their expertise in being the very best at connecting the right people together. But here’s something that isn’t often spoken about: you know your friends and colleagues better than any third party recruitment analyst, no matter how many psychometric tests of aptitude and technical projections they might wave around.

At Arctic15, you are, of course, our first and foremost priority: we want you to be as prepared as possible, so that you may walk out with the best possible ingredients to make your business intentions thrive. But our policy is that adopting a sense of community – that is, an ability and willingness to feel satisfaction from the success of others – is the only possible way to achieve this. That being said, I am about to give you some preparatory homework which can be summed up like this: Look out for each other.

Allow me to elaborate what I mean by that. Taking the matchmaking parabel from above, try and be the matchmaker that you wish others were to you as well. You will run into many individuals who will at first seem like an excellent opportunity to form partnerships. After some more in depth conversation, however, it might become clear that the match does not fit the mould of the needs you seek. For example, angel-investors who bring cash to push your project to the next stage might, of course, be a critical requirement. But the mentorship and advice they bring to the table could come from an industry or base of knowledge that does not fit the particular constituents of the business model you intend to operate. Once equity shares have changed hands, it is a real challenge to explain to a now-parter who insists on a plan of action which you simply know won’t work – because you just so happen to be more familiar with the product you’re dealing with.

Alternatively, forming a partnership with another company regarding production or logistics can run into serious obstacles when you realise that what at first seemed like an suitable B2B infrastructure turns out to be missing some key technological implementations to get that gadget you designed from the conveyor belt all the way to outlets. Or worse yet, the store’s inventory features products which have little to do with yours.

The possibilities for maladaptive arrangements are beyond the scope of any anecdotal account, including this one. But my meandering point is this: if you come across anyone – be it an investors, or even just a an enthusiastic student looking for an internship – the skills they offer might fit your bill. But they most certainly will fit someone else’s.

Keep that in mind, be aware of what other companies, investors and entrepreneurs do and if you see a potential match, send them to the right direction. Or better yet, introduce them to each other!

The time and effort such a simple act can make an incredible difference. But make no mistake, I am not advocating nepotism in between the lines. Your matchmaking shouldn’t be purely based on emotion or whom you like and don’t like. It should be about skills, experience and synergy. Our aim is to build an ecosystem that works on the basis of merit. The contribution we all can make is to help people find each other, beyond the confines of deal rooms and exclusive cliques of networking. It won’t cost you anything but a simple gesture and a community-driven mindset.

To spice things up with a little wholesome Sunday philosophy – assuming my message has touched you in any way – this will one day become rooted into the very culture of entrepreneurship, as long as we all participate and choose to put helping others to practice. 

In short, let’s all help each other out!

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Raf is a tall, lanky Finn wandering in the UK academic landscapes. With an MA in Psychology (University of Aberdeen) he's taken his penchant for brain studies a step further by embarking on a MSc in Neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh. Long-time lurker and contributor at AS, always hungry for fresh story leads in Tech/Espionage/the Absurd.

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