Why Old-School Communication Still Works in Business

I was reading an article recently by Kevin Purdy titled “Why In-Person Socializing Is A Mandatory To-Do Item” that really hit home. With the ongoing influx of social media outlets readily available for us to share our ideas or tell our friends useless facts about what we had for dinner, we tend to forget the importance derived from some old-fashioned, in-person communication. I admit that leveraging the power of social networks can in fact be very useful and efficient at times, however they just cannot capture or replace the gains derived from getting together face-to-face for some discussion/debate.

By putting the computer/BlackBerry/iPhone aside we open ourselves up to a completely different level of engagement which I find especially helpful here in the workplace. Granted, we have our internal email chains and collaboration tools which we use to the fullest, but I find we are most effective when we sit down as a team to hash out potential deals, discuss target sectors or simply to strategize for the week ahead.  On the deal side, it is easy to point out the pros/cons of a prospective addition to the portfolio via email, however by gathering all parties in the same room at the same time, lively debate ensues and we always walk away with a resolved course of action to determine whether or not a company may be a fit for the OpenView model.

With our focus on expansion stage companies, it can be easy to overlook or dismiss certain attributes of a potential investment with a quick email to the team. However, there is often a void from a contextual standpoint that can only be gained by hashing things out in person. By listening to a variety of vantage points simultaneously and hearing colleagues argue the validity of a prospect, there is so much to be gained and learned, even if it does not lead to a fund-raise. I cannot even count the number of times I have sat in on said discussions and left with a new-found understanding of a particular sector, certain industry trends, etc.


Brian is an Associate at OpenView where he is responsible for identifying and evaluating investment opportunities for the firm. He currently manages the firm’s analyst program and particularly enjoys assessing new markets/technologies and connecting with passionate founders.
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