in my experience, I followed the same school of thought as a lot of people here. I just worried about material. Didn't worry about starting a show or anything. People seemed to like me. A lot of people thought I was funny.
Started seeing people who started after me start shows. Said to myself "dummies". Then I saw how much they go booked just by having a show.
I would talk to other comics and they would tell me just not enough people who knew me were running shows. Most of the comics telling me this had shows and they never booked me on them.
This was in NYC. I still believe I had the chops. I firmly believe I didn't/dont/wont ever get booked because Im not willing to lick the balls or trade spots. And if you dont get on the shows run by open micers, the only way any real comics will know who you are is if you go hang out at the stand or the cellar and thats just gross in my opinion (coughlevfercough).
SO I guess I just wasn't funny enough, and a lot of comics and audience members were gaslighting me. Or, maybe people could tell I didn't think any of them were that funny and they could smell my bullshit.
Just my personal experience. If you wanna get booked, the fastest way to do it is run a good show comics wanna do. Watch how many new friends and shows you'll have.