Review: Guerrilla Networking

Guerrilla Networking: A Proven Battle Plan to Attract the Very People You Want to Meet
by Jay Conrad Levinson and Monroe Mann

# ISBN-10: 1600370160
# ISBN-13: 978-1600370168

Pros: Tells the hard truth about Networking.  Extremely enthusiastic.  Has actual examples.  Easy to read.

Cons: Book may be too simple for those that grasped its main point.  Enthusiasm can get overdone.  Repetitive.

Summary: A good book for people stuck in the mire of old-fashioned networking and in need of a lift.  Of questionable quality for a sophisticated professional.

This is an odd book – it's got the feel of a seminar in book form, and is a mix of small bite-sized tips and personal testimonies.  Either apart would not have made a complete book, so I think the inclusion of the different sections was necessary.

The theme of this book is stunningly simple, and one some people have realized on their own – traditional Networking doesn't work, your goal should to be someone people want to meet and do things on your own.  In other words, be worth meeting.

To hammer home that point there are fifty tips to help you become the "Guerrilla Networker: – the person who gets interesting, gets involved, and gets noticed.  The usefulness of these varies highly depending on your own personal experience and knowledge.  Some are simple and repetitive, some are actually quite insightful, and most are based on breaking out of the old hand-out-cards-try-and-meet-people networking stereotype.

Along with these fifty tips are a variety of short life stories collected from people the authors know – people that are Gurrilla Networkers.  These vary widely – and usefully – so there's probably a few people in there you'd like to emulate or meet.  Some of this section feels a bit like self-promotion (though as that's part of Guerilla Networking, it may fit).

Throughout the book there's a lot of enthusiasm, several uses of capitalization, the entire effect of is to be a mixture of fun and inspiring and annoying and overblown.  It's got the feeling of a seminar or speech captured in book form.  It is overwhelmingly positive.

This book is essentially for people stuck in the old-school networking rut or a general networking rut.  If your networking is going nowhere, if you hand out cards and hope, this may be a decent purchase just to shock you out of your rut (in a friendly way – the book is very positive).  On the other hand if the lessons of the book sound like something you already know – then the book is at best a purchase just to make sure you get inspired and think outside the box.  I can't recommend it to a person who realizes networking is about being networkable.

As a side note, this book is probably slightly more relevant to those in geeky careers as a lot of the experience behind it seems to come from media and would work well for the technically savvy.

 - Steven Savage