The One Piece of Data I Absolutely Value Most

As I've been hinting (or outright stating), After Nines Inc. is quietly focused on several major database build-outs. I wouldn't label it a big data or master data management (MDM) project, but I expect the result will be a single master database. It will contain subset databases and thousands (millions?) of data points that you will value. But which single piece of data will I personally value the most?

That's easy. At a time when many folks are chasing Facebook likes, LinkedIn connections, Twitter followers and more... I prefer to focus on true business relationships. And in my mind, there's one specific data point that reveals whether you and an industry peer have a true business relationship.

That data point: A person's cell phone number. 

One Number, Two Categories

If a person trusts you with their cell phone number in business, it means they either (A) deeply value the relationship or (B) they need you or (C) both. And yes, there's a big difference between A and B.

  • A) Valuing a relationship means there's something deeper about the business connection. You and the peer really value each other's guidance, thoughts and feedback on where an industry is going, and your respective roles in that industry.
  • B) The relationship is based purely on need. You need to influence them, or they need to influence you.

I'm not knocking those in the B slot. When I was a daily blogger in my previous life, lots of people reached out to me purely to influence my views or coverage. That's fine. I valued the outreach. And of course, I reached out to lots of people purely to get the "story" or the "scoop."

From Random Conversations to Trusted Relationships

The real magic happens when more and more folks begin to shift from camp B to camp A.

Over the past decade, my views on hundreds of industry leaders have gone from skeptical to impressed because of one-on-one, background phone conversations. 

So as After Nines Inc. continues several major database build-outs -- details coming later this year -- I won't lose sight on the most important data point of all. If I've got your cell phone number, I've got a direct, private line to what you're thinking at any particular moment. The trick is making sure I'm responsible with that piece of data -- only speed dialing you when it's absolutely necessary and appropriate.

Of course, the inverse is true as well. If you really want to build an ongoing relationship with me as After Nines Inc. continues to prepare some new developments, I'd welcome the opportunity to do so. Chances are, you can find my email address really, really easily. Hint: joe@AfterNines.com.

Can I Trust You With This?

Now, for the more important data point. For those who cared to read this far into the blog, my personal cell is:

  • Six 3 One
  • 4 six 3
  • Eight 6 hundred

I trust you'll use it wisely. I'm on U.S. east coast time so please try to limit calls and text to New York business hours. Your time permitting, I look forward to hearing about your business buildout.

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