My father's favorite expression was "It's not what you know. It's who you know."
Unfortunately he never introduced me to anyone useful.
Well, what do you know!
Unfortunately I wasted a lot of time learning how
to do stuff instead of who to do it for.
It is pretty funny when I think about it. My father did not have a gregarious personality. But he ran for public office three times. I suspect he didn't really want to win very badly. The large Irish enclave is South Boston. When my sister told him she was going to get married and live there he asked her "why do you want to be around those kind of people?" He should have tried for an appointed position if he wanted to get into government.
Edit: The comment started out as a play on "vast web of connections." Made me think of the "who you know" homily my father favored.