43 Folders

Back to Work

Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

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”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

HOWTO network without becoming a disingenuous weasel

Business Networking Advice: Merlin Mann from 43Folders.com - Interview

Josh asked me two interview questions about business networking, and I answered them. [Spoiler: historically, I've not been such a big fan of business networking]:

I have to admit that I loathe "networking" in what I take to be the conventional sense of the word -- to leverage friends and strangers for whatever intrinsic value their relationships can bring to oneself.

Consequently, I've always tried to avoid becoming one of those horrible little men who pretends to like everyone for the primary purpose of eventually pressing a crisp new business card into each of their palms while making a vague promise about future synergies and meals. That makes my skin crawl...

[The] heart of ethical and humane networking means not asking favors of others, but instead frequently doing unrequested propers for others. And expecting zilch in return.

So I guess networking, in an ideal world, just means you help your friends meet cool people as you do nice things for them. I can get behind that.

Also, if you are confused by the Snuffy Smith-style letter substitutions in the final line, please be informed that the word I had chosen was "**douchebag**."

About Merlin

Merlin's picture


Merlin Mann is an independent writer, speaker, and broadcaster. He’s best known for being the guy who created the website you’re reading right now. He lives in San Francisco, does lots of public speaking, and helps make cool things like You Look Nice Today, Back to Work, and Kung Fu Grippe. Also? He’s writing this book, he lives with this face, he suffers from this hair, he answers these questions, and he’s had this life. So far.

Merlin’s favorite thing he’s written in the past few years is an essay entitled, “Cranking.”




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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Merlin used to crank. He’s not cranking any more.

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