More on the continuing art of The Double Opt-in Intro

Richard Titus
11 min readApr 8, 2021

As I’ve blogged previously, I have almost ~65k contacts spread across contacts+, apple, five google accounts, and some cell phones and tablets. Given I know, at last count: 65k+ people across Venture Capital, startup, blockchain, AI/ML, FinTech, Space, Advertising, journalism (or just media in general), gaming, entertainment, burning man, ladies I’ve, um, dated, people I’ve dined with, or chatted up, I met on layovers or heliskiing; I have become a person that others regularly ask to make introductions.

Usually, it’s “I noticed you know (insert name of VC/founder/ladyfriend/dude) on Twitter/Linkedin/Facebook/Instagram/at a conference/etc. — would you introduce me to him/her/them, share my business plan, ask him for money, give me his private information?” You get the idea.

Since I believe in the spirit of GDPR, if not the letter — and generally am a strong proponent in personal privacy: I use an introduction system loosely based on the one I first learned from Fred Wilson, a Venture Capitalist I’ve idolized for years. Here’s Fred’s original blog on the DOUBLE OPT-IN INTRO or the (DOI-Intro)

The principle is pretty simple. One party (the Reqestor) requests to meet a second party. So you (the intermediary) check with that person (the Tobeintroduced) first and then upon receipt of their tacit consent you make the connection.

There are a ton of websites and blogs on the DOI-Intro topic. I use the (DOI-Intro) because it’s polite; it helps frame the opportunity for success; it allows ME, not YOU, to leverage my social capital if I feel it’s prudent and has a much lower time wastage than others.

“Social capital theory suggests that interpersonal relations create value for individuals as they provide resources that can be used for achieving desired outcomes.“ Yet so few people I meet really understand what it is (see previous), or how you develop it (years of consistent trustworthy practice) or why you would guard it (because it can take years to repair a breach of trust).

The DOI-I also helps prepare an introduction for maximum success. The more you inform me (the Intermediary) about your request, the more I can help it succeed.

David Cohen — co-founder of TechStars, described in an INC article a while back how Not using a DOI-INtro can have significant unexpected negative signals:

For example, if you blind email a VC and mention…

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Richard Titus

CEO, Yogi, Serial entrepreneur, raconteur, coach, advisor and sometime entertainer