Thursday, March 6, 2008

Small World Phenomenon

Back in 1994, three college students in Pennsylvania came up with the "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" game. To give you a little background, there was a play out at the time called "Six Degrees of Separation" where it is presumed that you are at most only six steps (or people) away from meeting anyone in the world. So, for example, if you wanted to meet the President, it is likely that your mother works with someone who has a cousin that has a friend that works at the White House and knows the president. These particular students (after a bottle of Southern Comfort it is rumored) decided that Kevin Bacon rhymed nicely with 'separation' and decided to try this small world phenomenon out with applying it to the Hollywood scene. Thus, they examined all the Hollywood players to see if they were all connected to Kevin Bacon in 6 links or less. The game is now kept up by the University of Virginia and I encourage you if you haven't yet, to check it out: The Oracle of Bacon at Virginia. Or, if you are a baseball fan, you can check out how the small world phenomenon has been similarly applied at the Oracle of Baseball.

What relevance does this small world phenomenon have for entrepreneurs? Well, if you think about the concept that we are all connected to everyone else in the world by six people or less -- just think about the resources that are surrounding us - it just requires networking! So, if you have a great business idea, but just need some financing, start networking. If you need to find a good accountant, a business partner, an insider at the company you want to sell at, a technology expert or WHATEVER your need, start networking.

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