The Best Network?
June 20, 2002) - 

"The perfect network is perfectly plain, and perfectly extensible. That means it is also the perfect capital repellent, [which] implies a guaranteed loss to network operators, but a boon to the services on the 'ends'."
- Roxane Googin's High Tech Observer as cited in The Paradox of the Best Network

Take a moment to scan The Paradox of the Best Network. We've cited the piece before. The quote, which prompted the Paradox piece in the first place, suggests that the best network is the one that produces the best results for its users (the ends). The Paradox article and the quote are referring to telecom and Internet networks. We wonder if it's true and if it has relevance for human networks.

There are few, if any, for-fee human networks that produce results that compare with free informal networks. In fact, there seems to be an inverse correlation between the perceived value of a human network and its price. That's the only meaningful way to explain the perceived difference between recruiting results produced by external recruiters and internal referral networks. Should we say "The best human network produces maximum results for its members while accruing the least capital?"

No answers, just a good question.

 -John Sumser