Of Tales and Cocktails

It’s hard to believe that the last time I hosted Dot Tales & Cocktails was 11 years ago. The event was part of Seattle’s high-tech “schmooze” circuit, as Manny Frishberg described it in his Seattle Weekly article, “Cash and Cocktails”. The point of this reflection is that short of having an online social network, we were making connections through events, mailing lists, websites, and one on one introductions.

You were vetted and validated as an individual microbrand by your business contacts and friends. And you worked hard to maintain those relationships. A great many of us leveraged these events to raise money, make business contacts, start companies, and sell them, too. At the same time, we transitioned from our twenties to our thirties and started to shift to larger companies that needed entrepreneurial approaches to getting things done. In that moment a lot of us (including me) left those connections behind and our microbrand was integrated into larger ones.

Here are the lessons I’ve learned:

  • Curate your relationships – Nurture the ones that help you move forward collectively and be available to those that might only be one-sided.
  • You will be surprised – Sometimes it is the people on the periphery that come through. Let yourself be surprised. You’ve made impressions on people you had no expectations of.
  • It’s hard work to build your brand – You have to work at it. Meet people in real life, have that phone call, go for coffee, take the lunch meeting. You can only go so far online. Learn to appreciate the face-to-face and try to provide value in your interactions.
  • Return the favor – Always, no matter how small.
  • Be available – There are a couple of people I know who think being mysterious adds to their persona. In reality, unless you are a celebrity, this approach does not work, and may put people off.

One last point, you never know who you will reconnect with. If I had not started Dot Tales & Cocktails I would have never reconnect with @dianego …although she never attended one of my events.

Over the next series of post I am planning to interview friends, business leaders, and entrepreneurs who I believe have done a great job building their microbrand.

Targeting Cheese

We love cheeseWe have a tendency to do some quick shopping at the local QFC  near my wife’s office before we head home. We also shop at the QFC near our home and always use the club card.  But these guys are soo good that they recognize @dianego ‘s love for cheesse overcomes the fact that we did not live in the geotargeted area.

Posted from WordPress for Windows Phone

Hyper Local

I was pleasantly surprised today when I got to the mailbox and found that our University of Washington season tickets had arrived. Besides the season tickets there’s always a coffee card preloaded with $5 from Starbucks. What struck me about the card this year was that they made the connection to a traditional pre-game trek to the U Village store for coffee…the reason this year is special is due to the fact that the games are being played at Century Link Field while Husky Stadium is being renovated. Starbucks messaged that we should head to the store near HQ. Way to make the local connection.



Posted from WordPress for Windows Phone