Posts Tagged ‘seattlelunch20’

Thoughts on Networking

November 12, 2009

I promised a follow-up to my last post, how to get plugged-in to the local network after I spoke at NWEN‘s Entrepreneur University. It’s also a great follow-up to the last post about working less. So if you are looking for work, there are some things here that are good to learn. Thanks for everyone who sent feedback on their thoughts about the Seattle Startup community and networking in general. Here is half of the talk we gave at the NWEN EU event…

NWEN EU – Plugging-in

It was a lot of fun and interesting to learn from the attendees and co-panelists (Nathan Kaiser, Danielle Morrill, and Dave Schappell) what problems they had with networking and how hidden the local community appears when you are an outsider looking in.

The five points that I found most applicable were:

  1. Do more favors for people in the community than you get from the community. The quality of favors you get in return will be worth it.
  2. Ask for advice, not for assistance.
  3. There are always going to be too many places to network and too many events to go to. Network where it is most convenient for you as you.
  4. It’s ok to mix personal and business networking, it’s more fun when you are doing business with people you enjoy.
  5. Use tools and system to manage who you are networking with, when you are networking, and why. Things like LinkedIn, facebook, twitter, salesforce are all great to help manage all of the connections and conversations. They are all useless if you are not using them to network with the people who will add value to what you are doing.

(6) – bring some breath mints or gum or something – bad breath sucks :)

A few of the follow-up conversations I had were also interesting…

I spoke with an attendee about the power of LinkedIN and how to go about using it to plan a conversation with someone either online or in-person. We used a scenario of a connecting with a Sr. Researcher at a company of interest. For my brief demonstration, I’ll say that I have a startup where I am trying to build a new touch based device that includes components of augmented reality for a medical purpose. For this I would start with a good LinkedIN search such as:

LinkedIN_Search

From here, I would expect to get a few folks in the Microsoft Research team locally and perhaps get some success…

LinkedIN_Results

With 9 results, I may not have much luck, but there isn’t too far to go to find out if I have a shot at finding the person that I’m looking for or not. To start, I’ll drill into each of these, keeping in mind that 2nd leve connections are easier to get to than 3rd level connections. So I’ll drill into Patrick Baudisch and see what I can find.

LinkedIN_results_in-depth

It doesn’t appear Patrick keeps his LinkedIN profile up to date which may be the case for researcher types. Business types are usually different and have a lot of information about what they do on their profile. The important thing though, is that Patrick does point us to his personal website. So let’s have a look…

LinkedIN_results_in-depth_Success

ok, straight off of his website, this guy has done some projects with multi-touch at a nano level and blindsight (by the looks of the picture and name, I get the sense that he has figured out what is behind an object even though we can’t see it (kind of augmented reality). Hmm, sounds like a guy that may be up my alley, definitely worth following up with. Flipping back over to his profile, it’s time to see how easy I can make the introduction and if this guy would be interested in talking to me.

Looking back at the profile, I see that we are both connected to Scott Bright. I happen to be connected to Scott because of MindCamp (hence the need to attend a few good events, do some favors, so that you have the right connections to leverage when you need them).

LinkedIN_Connection

In this case, I would ask Scott for some advice on how to meet people in the space that I’m looking for. If he doesn’t offer Patrick as a connection, I would ask directly about an introduction in-person or online.

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Thoughts on Seattle 2.0 Awards

May 8, 2009

Wow, what a great event put on by Marcelo and team!! Truly a top class event.

SeattleAwards_speech

For those of you who didn’t attend the event (in-person or live) – you should not make the same mistake next year! Marcelo and team put together a welcoming environment where the focus was on the event, the speakers, and the community. Definitely kudos to him and the team – pulling off this kind of an event is difficult and the team’s ability to execute well definitely shines through! John has a great write-up on the results.

The family and I had a great time. Quentin was embarrassed that people knew who he was. Gabriel was his usual self and was handing out Seattle Lunch 2.0 stickers to everyone. Robin was of course her usual proud supportive self. There were quite a few people there I didn’t know, so it was great to meet new people and chat about their startups. The boys were hilarious, after meeting Jonathan Sposato in the restroom, they were proud that they met the guy who kept winning awards. They kept saying, “oh – we met that guy!”

Luckily, their Dad finally won an award so he could compete with all these cool CEOs who were winning awards and giving talks to the audience. The boys wanted to brag to everyone so it was a great chance to teach some humility and let them know how important awards from the community are. It was also good because the kids got the explanation about how there are so many other great seattle tech groups and events that just being a part of the category is a great thing (all the event organizers deserve an award).

If you haven’t attended a Lunch or Happy Hour – get registered for an upcoming event before the seats are filled!! If you’re unsure of what to expect, check out The Experience of Attending or Hosting a Seattle Lunch 2.0.

There will be a Seattle Lunch 2.0 @ Pelago on May 15th.

There will also be a Seattle Lunch 2.0 Happy Hour @ Sortuv on May 29th.

If you can’t attend either of those, Seattle 2.0 Live will be streaming the events (so you can at least attend remotely). There are plenty more in the works – contact me if you want to host/sponsor. If you don’t have the resources to host/sponsor and still want to contribute – make a donation – I am currently sending Seattle Lunch 2.0 stickers to all those that donate.

For those of you who voted for Seattle Lunch 2.0 – Thank you (I literally could not have done it without you)! It truly takes a community and if Seattle Lunch 2.0 wins an award like this, it means that all of you in the community contributed to the events enough to make it happen!

Experiences Attending and Hosting Seattle Lunch 2.0

April 17, 2009

In response to a discussion about events and what value they have for people, I wanted to post my thoughts on the experience of attending and hosting a Seattle Lunch 2.0 event….

I can’t speak for the “Think Tanks” or WTIA events, but the Seattle Lunch 2.0 events are Mingling events and they contain great startup-relevant information.
 
Over the few years that I have been leading/attending these Mingling events I have participated in numerous group discussions about how companies grew their startups. When I say discussion, I mean an active audience participation in discussions about what is most interesting to the group at large. The CEO/Founder contributions to the conversations have ranged from “started in college”, to “spun out of Microsoft or other BigCo”, to “had a bright idea coding one day”, to… well, you tell me what situation a company might be spawned in and we’ve pretty much had those kind of founders talking about it – if not let’s have one.
 
The great thing is that the intention of these events includes mingling and participating in discussions (a little presentation, demo, or Q&A to get things going) and then discussion and a lot of time to Mingle.
 
What do I mean by Mingle you might ask… well at a recent one of these events the Founder gave a demo and talked a little about the company (10min), followed by another 10-20min discussion/Q&A, then there was the hour of talking to the Developers, Marketers, Founders, and everyone else on the team that is actually required to make a startup function. So I guess it’s a little more then Mingling :)  
 
Come by the next Seattle Lunch 2.0 to see what I’m talking about…
 
These are not – here a couple people reflecting on the different about the tipping point for their company. These are – meet the team, founders, business model and ask any question you want.
 
Admittedly, the events are usually a little less formal. Presentation Zen is not required – Demos are fun, panel discussions are fun, heck just having the whole team around to hang out with for an hour or two is fun!! I will also admit that these are not held in nice conference halls or venues – they are usually in trendy facilities – like the offices where these companies spend their time (yes that means co-working spaces, shared offices, lofts in pioneer square – all w/o AC).
 
In addition to CEOs/Founders we’ve had speakers at these Mingling events that include authors, investors, lawyers, developers, architects, and well… we are open to just about anyone who has something relevant and is interesting to talk about. Keep in mind – the hoster of the event has their whole team there so you are never stuck talking to the CEO, when you really want to talk to the guy/gal that wrote the feature!!
 
These events also have the free food/beer model – if the speaker sucks (at least the food & drink were worth the time). I didn’t say corporate catered – I said YUMM!
 
A good analogy is a written letter in comparison with… Twitter. The letter is great, has it’s place, it’s norms, it’s value. Twitter – well it’s great too, but in a different way, for different reasons, and it has a different value. Both can get your point across, both can be valuable, but sometimes you need to choose between writing a letter or tweeting and sometimes you need to choose between reading a letter or reading twitter. The value in your message when you write and the value in your information acquisition when you read will vary. Plus we all know which one is more fun…
 
Of course if you are interested in hosting, sponsoring, donating or want to chat – don’t hesitate to reach out!!

See you at the next event…

Another Great Seattle Lunch 2.0

January 15, 2009

Another Great Seattle Lunch 2.0 over at Cooley this afternoon!! Icebreaker had a great presentation and now we at Seattle Lunch 2.0 are looking for more hosts and sponsors. What a better time then now to kick down a couple hundred dollars, talk a bit about your company, and meet up with the cream of the crop around Seattle?

If a company is still in business, they probably have staying power (and you probably want to partner with them)…

If you need more employees (most of the best that are looking now will be snatched up soon, so you’d better meet them while you can)!

If you just want to check out the seattle scene, network, hear a good demo, or give a good demo – this is a great place to do it. Of course we need sponsors to help keep the ball rolling. If you’re interested don’t hesitate to reach out!!

http://www.seattlelunch20.com/

Yes, I finally broke down and changed the domain :) – new email address too!! josh@SeattleLunch20.com

Won’t be long before I move this blog to it’s real domain name and off of wordpress.com :)

Seattle Lunch 2.0 @ Whitepages.com

August 1, 2008

Don’t forget that Seattle Lunch 2.0 starts in an hour!!

Seattle Lunch 2.0 @ Whitepages.com will be great!! We had Cardomain host a lunch last year and Snapvine (newly acquired by whitepages) co-sponsor last year as well. Now we get to check out Whitepages.com itself and hear from a panel of local companies who have built iPhone apps recently. So far we have confirmed Whitepages.com, Urbanspoon, and Jott for the panel. Michael Arrington will be moderating the panel and of course be around to answer other questions.

There will of course be some prizes and giveaways… the usual great company… and yummy food!!

I think the event is full at Upcoming, but there are always last minute cancelations (please remove your name from the list if you can’t attend so others can come) – http://upcoming.yahoo.com/event/899026/

For those of you looking for more events, We will be having another Seattle Lunch 2.0 on the 22nd (for those of you who want a free event instead of going to gnomedex 8)… full announcement coming this weekend.

Additionally, Network World is bringing an IT Roadmap conference here to Seattle. Attendance is FREE – information is at Network World