To Get the Opportunity You’re Seeking, First Share Your Opinion

Each time I’m approached by someone eager to explore a new opportunity, I always come back to the same advice:

Formulate an opinion on the thing you are seeking and share it publicly.

By “opinion,” I mean a few things:

  1. Your stance on what works well and could be improved
  2. What you foresee as the future of said thing (aka what are the directions it could go in?)
  3. Why you give a damn to begin with. If you really don’t and have some other reason for reaching out, do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars

The first step in having an opinion is to do your homework. Play with the thing and take notes. Read everything you can about it. Try the competitors. Ask your friends, family, and domain experts about the thing to get a wider perspective.

The worst way to approach someone you want to advocate for you is to just say hi and say you’re interested. Well, there’s probably way worse ways than that, but you get what I mean.

When you take that tack, you impose a big cognitive load onto the requestee and reduce the chances of getting a reply or follow-through. She or he will certainly want to know:

  1. Why are you interested?
  2. Have you done your homework? If so, what did that consist of?
  3. What’s your overall assessment and where do you see potential opportunity to improve?
  4. Make a concrete request and express gratitude right off the bat

Keep the first note short and use links to route to where the more in-depth thinking exists.

You may wonder, where should I share my opinion? A few ideas…

  1. Write a post about it! Writing IS thinking and don’t worry too much about where you put it. Medium, Pastebin, WordPress blog, Google Doc, Notion… it really doesn’t matter as long as it’s readable and has a link.
  2. Your thinking doesn’t even have to be long form… Twitter is a great way to show how your thinking develops in bite sized chunks over time.
  3. Even better than words… create visuals! Can you put images together to better describe your ideas and thinking? The more accurately you can paint a picture for people, the easier time they’ll have understanding what you’re trying to get at. It doesn’t have to be bespoke design work either… Google Image search and a well-structured post or deck can work wonders.

Hope that helps, now go get ’em tiger!

Head of Design at Roblox