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The Crucial First Step To Building Relationships That Everyone Misses

Many people in tech are bad at professional networking, and the reason is simple: They're being too selfish. If you want to build a professional network that is truly useful to you, you must strive to put yourself in the other person's shoes.

Here's the core points from the video:

  • Understand their incentives - Everyone in the professional world is looking out for something: Nobody works purely for the sake of working. When you're working within a company environment, this is usually what they're rewarded for in their performance review. When you're asking for something, it's easy to get caught up in what you're looking for and how this other person can help you. The key to effective interpersonal communication is to flip that mentality and use your empathy to figure out how you can help them instead.
  • Alex's Instagram Misalignment Story
    • Back in 2018, Instagram cofounders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger parted ways with Instagram and Facebook overall. This left a power vacuum with no clear "wing" of the company to drive the overall direction.
    • During this time, Alex was working on Instagram Ads. After the cofounders left, his team tried to ship a project to make the main action button on ads much bigger. Their A/B test showed that the new variant earned far more revenue.
    • The new CEO of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, shot the idea down, citing that it was too tacky. He then declared a design lockdown across all of Instagram stating that all new Instagram features needed to meet Instagram's user design standards.
    • This changed the incentives between designers and engineers at Instagram. Designers were now more focused on upholding the aesthetic integrity of Instagram and less so on shipping projects. On the other hand, engineers were still laser-focused on shipping.
    • The engineers who best succeeded during this transitory period were those who worked together with the designers and championed their goals. These engineers were willing to incorporate design polish and didn't immediately dismiss it as a threat to their timelines.

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