Don’t Mistake Notoriety for Reputation

I’ve been writing a lot about reputation lately.  But one thing I’ve neglected to do is to point out the key difference between reputation and notoriety.

When people talk about “reputation,” they often mean notoriety.  Notoriety is what people who don’t know you think of you.

You get notoriety from being written about in TechCrunch and appearing on TV shows.  Notoriety comes from the impression you make on the people who are in your audience.

Reputation, on the other hand, is what people who do know you think of you.  Each time you interact with someone, even if no one else is watching, you’re building your reputation.

Notoriety feels good.  Many people (me included) love being the center of attention and soaking up the adulation of an audience (even if that adulation is fake–a fact that everyone who invests money for a living understands is a real danger).  But reputation is far more important.

Reputation is what convinces an investor to take a chance on you.  Reputation is what convinces a former co-worker to quit her job and join your startup.

Don’t worry about developing your notoriety; a good reputation is far more helpful to success.

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