There are two ways to build a network.
One is to set networking as a goal and to go out and meet people. The other is to do things that are interesting to you, in which case your network builds naturally as a result of the people who you reach out to in order to progress in what you’re doing, and the people who reach out to you because they find what you’re doing interesting.
The first approach results in a random network, while the second produces a network that is aligned with your perspective on and what you want to get out of life.
In addition, the probability of building strong connections is lower in the first approach because people recognize that your goal is to meet them rather than to learn from and contribute to them. This produces a less positive response.
As a result, doing things that are interesting to you produces a more valuable network of stronger connections than when networking is your end goal.
Also published on Medium.