Thalamus: Be friendly.
Amygdala: But I have nothing to talk about.
Thalamus: But you need to meet people.
Amygdala: But I hate networking; this is so fake and boring.
Thalamus: So what — stop being a wuss.
Amygdala: But why?
Thalamus: Because networking is IMPORTANT — DO IT!
Until last night, that was the conversation that went through my head at just about every networking event I’d ever attended. Don’t get me wrong; I love being with people, but there’s something about the incessant elevator pitches and subtle pissing contests to prove either I know something or you should know me that drives me nuts about networking events … until last night when I went to …
WOOHOOO! OMG! DAMN-SCHIZETY-SNICKUMEROO! Can you say mother-f%$&ing brilliant!
The initial Amygdala-provoking networking was immediately eased by some Dominoes pizza (first time in years and still delcious) courtesy of Alexander at Fortis and an energizing music licensing primer from John at Kuzic. Sipping a beer, I then listened to Rohit and (insert co-founder’s name, which is why blog posts should be written immediately and not 2 days later) explain the prizes (a CZ analytics consult was one of them) and realized how awesome it was that I was about to play poker.
I sat between two Mikes: the LifeYo founder and Gobbler‘s chief biz dev dude. Probably most exciting was sitting across from ExtraLunchMoney Adult-preneur Benic — remarkably, I’d never before met an Adult Industry startup person, and it was really interesting listening to him talk through the changing dynamics of that industry’s business-model (yes, I’m only interested in the adult industry from a business-analysis perspective 🙂 ).
Once the cards started flowing, I was able to kick back and play. Btw, in my mind successful social events should always include games. Yes, business cards were exchanged and the conversation could get startup-lingo-y, but there was also irreverent joke-making, sloppy betting, and even some trash talking (mainly from Jobvite’s Jason pushing us around with his monster stack).
I was actually having fun the way I do when I’m chilling out and not networking. I had fun and happened to make some great connections along the way. Thank you Poker Startups for restoring my faith in networking events.
p.p.s. Thank you Callfire for having a ping pong table.