Start-up Secret: Mining LinkedIn

Analytics/ Analysis

If you are starting up a new technology-based entrepreneurial endeavor, you need to heed the wisdom of many before you. It’s about who you know. I can attest to that my relationships have yield more return on investment that my intellectual capabilities. Ultimately I made more money as a “rainmaker” than a hard core geek (although you need both as a technical professional – don’t get me wrong).

One of the secrets to my success is applying analytics to my data. In this case, the secret I want to share concerns mining your

LinkedIn connections. Before I share the special link that will give you a bona fide business boost, please indulge in some context. 

Be aggressive in making connections. Early in the life of LinkedIn, there was a strong cultural norm that you should not over connect with people you don’t really know. And to some extent, the LinkedIn connection procedure still forces you to demonstrate some type of alleged relationship with the recipient. But there are now one-day workshops and countless YouTube videos advising you on how to build your list of LinkedIn connections as fast and large as possible to engage in business development.


When you connect with someone, you can message them, endorse and recommend them. But did you know if you click on the little Contact Info icon below the individual’s picture, you can often see a telephone number and an email address. The email address is very interesting because it is usually a “back email” address such as Gmail or Hotmail. It’s often not their corporate email address. When people set-up their LinkedIn account, they frequently use a personal email address so that the authentication and identity credentials travel with the individual (e.g. if they change jobs) and not with the “company.” The little secret here is that you can email these people at a little-used back email address and get their undivided attention. Make sense?

If gets better. When you follow the connection download procedure below, you can easily aggregate all of your connections with email addresses on a single spreadsheet (CSV) format. In my case, that’s 3,297 connections I’ve legitimately built up over several years. When I have access to all of that connection information in one Microsoft Excel 2016 worksheet, the world if my oyster. I can slice, dice, sort and pivot this important data to make it rain dollars!

So you’ve waited long enough – here is the link.