Yesterday's post evolved into an exploration of what it means to help people vs serving as a gatekeeper. I'm concluding I'm not a gatekeeper, but just a node on a network, mostly of helpers, and that it's only helpful to everyone involved if we use our judgment with advice, introductions, and encouragement.
The wisdom in the comments was particularly helpful.
From JLM: "I will help any son of a bitch who can find me, contact me and form an articulate sentence --- why the Hell not?"
From Jim about filters: "Doesn't always work."
Arnold: "at the core through all this human layers and baggage true friendships does indeed happen"
And Mike: "one of the mysterious forces here that you're leaving out of major discussion are the social repercussions that occur"
I'm still thinking about this. The impression I gave in the original post is that I don't want to help--that's not at all the case. I'm happy to help and invite anyone to ask for it. But I won't randomly make introductions without some forethought--that doesn't help anyone.
Most startups should be focused on customers. Focus on getting traction, solidifying and proving the model, and doing everything possible to avoid needing to raise money for anything other than scaling faster. Networking is a good habit to get into, but don't do it aspirationally.
Maybe the attitude should be to always pass someone along, but advise against it if they aren't ready.
I don't know... I probably need to degrumpify