Will LinkedIn answer Path101's anti-stealth call?

October 27, 2007 Filed under: Business

Charlie O'Donnell and Alex Lines, cofounders of Path101, are baring it all... and lucky for us, it's their startup plan I'm speaking about. In what they call anti-stealth mode, Charlie and Alex make the argument that the net benefit of baring it all (marketing, investor and employee prospecting, community feedback) outweigh all the possible negatives (tipping off the competition, annoying private investors).

Now, for people paying attention to Charlie and Alex's anti-stealthiness, things can get a little boring sometimes (my Monday morning agenda is already enough of a sleeper), but in their most recent anti-stealth post, things get a little interesting.

"How we would like to work with LinkedIn and their upcoming API" is an daring, almost Robert Mosesian, biz dev call to, arguably, Path101's closest ally in the "help people with their careers" space. Now, what strikes me about the post is how clear it is that Charlie as already reached out to LinkedIn, and that his calls have not been returned.

Why wouldn't LinkedIn return a phone call from a guy who can bag, without skipping a beat, Fred Wilson as an angel investor? Are those the inside baseball, connected folks you partner with?

And that begs another set of questions: Who are they returning phone calls to? Who would be better to partner with in their new API platform? Is LinkedIn turning their back (and API) on the startup community?

Whatever the answers to these questions are, I hope Path101's openness works out for the best. While drawing public attention to this snubbing could backfire, I bet it serves to get the right person at LinkedIn to return the call and form a partnership. And if this works, look for a lot more startups to go anti-stealth.

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