There is an age-old saying of “It’s not who you are, but who you know”. Some believe this to be about people who can open doors for you — the ones who have achieved societal status. So they spend their days hobnobbing. In the end they might end up with a bunch of contacts who can open the proverbial doors — but haven’t learned anything which they can bring back to their companies.
In my world this is much more about A-People. The ones who are incredibly smart. The ones who can see trends before others do. The ones who are doing things differently. The ones who have walked in your shoes before. In summary: The ones from whom you can geniunely learn and who make you grow.
Don’t get me wrong — nothing wrong with knowing the people who open doors for you (and you need those). But at least equally as important is to learn, grow and build the best possible product or service and company you can. And that requires constant learning.