There's No Such Thing as a Competing Party
BY JOE PROCOPIO
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:
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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Monday night marked the first ExitEvent Startup Social where it was public knowledge that I was no longer in charge. To be honest, I've actually not been in charge for a couple of them now.
Last week, I was in lurking in the back of a room (which is usually where you'll find me), listening to a rather successful entrepreneur give a talk to a bunch of young entrepreneurs, most of whom were students. At one point, he made this distinction.
Well, one thing to note is there was acquisition interest almost from the beginning. I'm a working entrepreneur, and ExitEvent was something I started because I was convinced it needed to exist.
As a startup founder, you're going to get inundated with advice for building and running your company. It's inevitable. You'll be able to tune out 90% of it, but it's going to seep in, whether it's from your advisors, your peers, or your grandmother.
Look, I'm not saying that you're going to walk into every ExitEvent Startup Social and find one table with those kinds of folks sitting at it. But I will say this. If you let the snow keep you home Tuesday night, you missed that chance.