I recently stumbled upon an interesting map of “the Google” network. I first looked at the Google Company Map displaying companies as connected by a common investor and board member (Orange Links) with the Google Target Node Excluded. This map is below:
Kinda cool. From a network analytic perspective, the above map highlights PodShow as a liaison tie between the left and right cliques in the above Google Company Map - it connects two clusters without being a part of either cluster. Plaxo, eLance, and Zazzle are bridges in the network because they connect the left and right cliques together, but are a part of one of the cliques. [Note: Bonus Question for someone who wants to post a comment - we removed the registration requirement: What ties the left, center, and right cliques together?]
Intrigued, I then clicked to the Relational Map of Google, Dropped Pendants, and began increasing the MinLink (+) to isolate strong ties. I stopped at MinLink = 4 and this result is the below Map O’ the Day:
Here we see the strong-tie capital relations of Google. Note the ties to PodShow: (1) Sequoia Capital as investor; (2) Kleiner Perkins as investor; (3) Sherpalo Ventures as investor; and (4) Ram Shriram (Sherpalo Ventures) as board member. In fact, PodShow and Google are the only companies to combine the power investor triumvirate of Sequoia, Kleiner, and Sherpalo (Sherpalo being a fairly new VC Firm). The PodShow common investor and board ties thus make it the “closest thing to Google” from a relational capital perspective.
One of the interesting aspects of LinkSViewer is the ability to uncover relationships that may not be obvious to the end user. In this case, one may be aware that Google had Sequoia, Kleiner, and Sherpalo as investors. They may even be aware that PodShow has the same three investors. But the key connection is the ability to see that both have the same connections. This is the power of relational capital. Now this may not be much of an “aha” - it is the typical case where insiders will tell you that they knew this after you show them the network. But more complex relations that are less obvious to the end user. For example, consider the case of large VC firms connected by their portfolio companies as filtered by rounds, $ invested, or industry sector. Here, the capital relations can help tell more complex relational stories based on level of filtering (this is not as obvious). We all have a relational network understanding of the world - some are better at it than others - our goal is to help clarify these connections and also allow users to discover new connections.