There's No Such Thing as a Competing Party

BY JOE PROCOPIO@jproco5.15.12
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Filed Under: NEWS: Startups

So twice last night at the ExitEvent Social I got pulled aside to have a quick and quiet conversation that boiled down to asking me if it was cool if such-and-such group held a get-together for entrepreneurs in the area.

My response: "I'll see you in court."

No. Honestly my response was somewhere between puzzled and excited.

Since ExitEvent is a labor of love, I have no qualms about others in the area doing the same thing. In fact, I'm sure I'm stepping on any number of toes in some theoretical sense every time we tap the kegs or I slap some new content on the site. It's human nature, especially in the throes of business, to identify and, I don't know, hate the competition.

But we've got to get over that.

I spend exactly zero minutes thinking about who or what ExitEvent might be competing with. Don't get me wrong, in the startup world, you've definitely got to be concerned with competition, and there are companies out there that I hate with the heat of a thousand suns -- but that's strictly confined to that actual startup(s) I work with. And it's healthy, as healthy as hate can be anyway.

With ExitEvent, I'm more concerned with:

  • Making sure enough people know about it so that 10% of those people might participate.
  • Make sure the Social has enough value to keep entrepreneurs and investors showing up.
  • Figuring out what the next step might be for ExitEvent beyond the social.
  • Keeping the whole thing from becoming a parody of itself -- which is harder than you might think.

    And since I work 60 hours a week, I usually get 20-30 minutes a week to devote to ExitEvent. Hell, since the Social just happened, I'm writing this stream-of-consciousness style in the 15 minutes between eating a sandwich for dinner at 11:30 p.m. and powering down for 5 hours before waking up and working.

    So yeah, go ahead and do that.

    But seriously, go ahead and do that! It's very rewarding and satisfying to see it happen. And honestly, the more people out there trying to provide value for the entrepreneurs in these second markets -- I'm talking Raleigh/Durham, Charlotte, Atlanta, DC, etc. -- the better. Furthermore, if we coordinate, we'll keep from, you know, holding too many events in one week or on the same night.







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