You may have heard of the 6 degrees of separation between any two people on earth. Sometimes, a small event reminds you just how true this is.
Yesterday, while traveling in California (we are currently visiting there, one reason why this blog is not updated too often these days), I was telling my wife: “We need to contact Hubert”. Hubert is a friend from the time I lived in the Bay Area. At one point, I had organized a presentation at HP for his startup, and in the process, he introduced me to two very smart guys, Marc and Marc, who were the founders of the company. I am not sure if this counts as two degrees of separation or one, now that I know these guys, but for the sake of the argument, let’s say two.
That same evening, I received an email from a person I had never met, Philippe. I did a quick Google search, as I generally do when talking to someone I don’t know (it helps me figure out what the person’s interests might be). And sure enough, he had written articles with one of the two Marcs.
Of course, we know it’s at most 6 degrees of separation, but it’s still funny when you happen to be able to reconstruct a random path like this. I remember at various points meeting someone who knows someone who… and thinking: “Oh, that puts me at most [N] degrees away from [insert random celebrity here]”. Of course, if some person is in LinkedIn, you can test that for yourself now…