Archive for September, 2011

First Tuesday

This week, the thing I chose to get my out of my comfort zone was to attend First Tuesday Barcelona, a networking event for entrepreneurs.

I’ve always had mixed feelings when it comes to this kind of events. First off, they sound very promising. Lots of people working on interesting stuff, or at least wanting to, seems like the kind of crowd I’d like to meet. I could go there and end up with a bunch of really interesting connections, or even new friends. Then, the worst-case-scenario part of my brain kicks in. What if most are just there to watch, or are the kind of people who are always about to start something (but never do)? What if the talk (there’s usually a talk by some successful entrepreneur) is boring? And so the self convincing begins, and ultimately ends up making up enough arguments to make me stay home. Those are all rational questions, but at the end of the day, the main force driving me to out of those events is the fact that I’d be uncomfortable around lots of strangers, probably more successful than me, and in an environment where you’re expected to “sell yourself”, something I’m horrible at. Another comfort issue.

When I took on the challenge, I knew one of those things I had to tackle was entrepreneur events, and the first one happening in my area was First Tuesday. This time the talk was from TopRural‘s CEO Fran├žois Derbaix. He gave general advice about starting up an Internet company, and was great. I’ve read lots of books and listened to lots of talks, and it still felt like fresh advice most of the time. Also, while not a ridiculously good speaker, Fran├žois was very casual and honest about everything he said, which pleasantly reminded me of last year’s Bussiness of Software talk by Balsamiq’s Peldi Guillizzoni. A must watch.

So the talk was good, what about the people? Luckily I ran into a friend there -who was with two other friends-, and I was meeting another friend as well, so I ended up spending most of my time speaking to them. It was great, but it didn’t get me much out of my comfort zone, though. It was plenty of fun, so I can’t complain. At least I got myself to ask a question to the speaker in the Q&A round, though :)

All in all it was a great experience which I intend to repeat. Next time, though, I’ll try and network more with random people, see if I enjoy it or get something useful out of it.