We had a great Bootstrapper Breakfast® in February in Milpitas with Isaac Garcia, CEO of Central Desktop, speaking very candidly about the challenges of Bootstrapping Central Desktop and some lessons learned.
Bob Gerughty mentioned after the meeting that he had run into someone who remembered him from a comment he made at a breakfast almost a year ago. Bob was a Treasurer and/or head of Taxation at Altera, NeoMagic, and Phoenix Technologie before he branched out to bootstrap his own firm. He asks a great questions and offers insights that are very practical–and memorable as a result–so I was not surprised.
Isaac really lifted our spirits with his humor and informed perspective on bootstrapping, folks stayed afterward for private conversations for more than an hour. And Bob’s remark, coupled with the energy in the room after Isaac’s talk, triggered some reflection on some other recent “networking events” I attended in January and February of this year, and the reasons why the breakfast often result in memorable conversations.
The formal part of the meeting is a single conversation among anywhere from eight people to two dozen. Everyone has a chance to introduce themselves, talk a little bit about what they are working on, and then ask the group advice on one or more issues that they are wrestling with. Because each Bootstrapper Breakfast is moderated no one person can dominate the conversation and everyone gets a chance to take part.
In a regular networking meeting you are standing up in knots of two to six people, meeting a few new people in the course of the informal networking session and mainly introducing yourself, talking a little about yourself and what brought you to the meeting. But you end up having to repeat yourself half a dozen times and you don’t get to hear the other person for very long either.