Ruef discovered a small subset of business people who were embedded in diverse social structures. They didn’t just hang out with colleagues and close friends. Instead, these entrepreneurs maintained a large number of “weak ties” with people at different companies and from different backgrounds. Their social networks were varied and undirected, full of surprising interactions and “informational entropy”. These entrepreneurs made a habit of hanging out with people who told them unexpected things; they chatted with acquaintances and struck up conversations with random strangers. Ruef then analyzed each of these entrepreneurs using an elaborate metric of innovation. He measured the number of patents they’d invented and kept track of all their trademarks. He rated the originality of their products and gave them bonus points if they’d “entered an unexploited niche” or pioneered a new marketing method. He then compared these innovation rankings to the structure of the entrepreneur’s social networks. The results were impressive: Business people with entropic networks were three times more innovative than people with predictable networks. Because they interacted with lots of different folks, they were exposed to a much wider range of ideas and “non-redundant information”.