I agree with Wasserman that “while people are building relevant human capital, they are often also building the social capital they hope to leverage as founders (The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding The Pitfalls That Can Sink A Startup by Noah Wasserman).” Where I disagree with Wasserman is that “youth is often at a disadvantage (The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding The Pitfalls That Can Sink A Startup by Noah Wasserman).” Buzz Marketing Group, compiled a “Professional Organizations Study 2015”, where 93% of respondents said they value social capital, but respondents under the age of 40 view professional organizations are “old school.” It goes on to note that 37% of those under 40 did not see value in professional organizations. (Entrepreneur.com). People under 40 are considered part of the Millennial Generation and this will have a significant impact on the economy in years to come, as it is a larger generation than Baby Boomers.
Learning how millennials value social capital is integral in the success in improving the social capital of any business. Tina Wells, CEO of Buzz Marketing Group, believes that professional communities are the places were millennial leaders and business owners engage to build social capital and enhance their professional goals (Entrepreneur.com). I believe that this concept is why so many companies, old and new, have invested in social media across the board. Companies understand social media is not just a means of casual communication, but is also a space that millennials use professionally to build and establish relationships. In my experience, traditional professional organizations are limited because many of them lean on interacting with people in-person and have limited or no touch points with members outside of the in-person interactions. Professional communities, like a Linkedin, allow for constant touch points for professionals and professional groups within a larger community. Sixty-seven percent of millennials noted that they would “prefer to join a organization founded by peers of similar age, such as YEC and FounderSociety (Entrepreneur.com).” Even Facebook has utilized this trend to their advantage. Facebook users can create groups, public or private, for numerous reasons, one of the reasons being to bring professionals together (Facebook.com). Recently, I was added to an invite-only group for black professionals in student affairs. The Buzz Marketing Group survey reported that 52% of the millennials they surveyed are “more likely to join a group that is invite only (Entrepreneur.com).” This information leads me to believe that contrary to Wasserman’s notion that youth are at a disadvantage, I would dare to say that they are at a greater advantage for building social capital in today’s times (The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding The Pitfalls That Can Sink A Startup by Noah Wasserman).
The latter section of Building Social and Financial Capital in Wasserman’s The Founder’s Dilemmas, focuses on financial capital (The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding The Pitfalls That Can Sink A Startup by Noah Wasserman). The founder of RTriad, built a “cash cushion” or “walk away” savings to be able to leave work and focus on the startup, just as Wasserman describes many other founders have done (The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding The Pitfalls That Can Sink A Startup by Noah Wasserman). In addition to the savings, each founder of RTriad submitted a capital contribution of $1,000. The savings and contributions combined covered enough of the companies expenses until we were able to establish clients and generate revenue. Our human and social capital have been integral to the success of the company thus far.
Rampton, John. “Millennials Have Rediscovered the Benefits Rejoining a Professional Organization.” Entrepreneur. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/246691#. Accessed 9 September 2017
Wasserman, Noah. The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding The Pitfalls That Can Sink A Startup. Princeton University Press, 2012.
Facebook – Creating a group https://www.facebook.com/help/167970719931213?helpref=about_content
Founder Society https://foundersociety.co/