Character Development

A couple months ago I made a spreadsheet called “Friends.”

I listed all the people I wanted to spend time and put them in a spreadsheet. I still feel dirty about it.

image

The truth is, it solved a problem that was becoming a larger and larger issue for me last year. My friends were becoming a victim of my inability to keep up with the intense networking system in NY.

To set the stage here, there’s all sorts of funny stuff going on.

  • Personally I’ve been tricked into interviewing for jobs or “wined and dined” in hopes I would be willing to pick up a contract gig at a cheap price.
  • A friend recently told me that he couldn’t trust the advice of a mentor because he didn’t know if he was using him to orchestrate his uprising as an industry figure.
  • Another friend who is more interested in the food he’s eating than the people he meets, but feels it’s his responsibility to continue networking.
  • I’ve been given advice “do this favor” so that this person owes you something in return.

Personally I’m not interested in playing this game.

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Character Development

A couple months ago I made a spreadsheet called “Friends.”

I listed all the people I wanted to spend time and put them in a spreadsheet. I still feel dirty about it.

image

The truth is, it solved a problem that was becoming a larger and larger issue for me last year. My friends were becoming a victim of my inability to keep up with the intense networking system in NY. 

To set the stage here, there’s all sorts of funny stuff going on.

  • Personally I’ve been tricked into interviewing for jobs or “wined and dined” in hopes I would be willing to pick up a contract gig at a cheap price.
  • A friend recently told me that he couldn’t trust the advice of a mentor because he didn’t know if he was using him to orchestrate his uprising as an industry figure.
  • Another friend who is more interested in the food he’s eating than the people he meets, but feels it’s his responsibility to continue networking.
  • I’ve been given advice “do this favor” so that this person owes you something in return.

Personally I’m not interested in playing this game.

At first I thought, “this must just be NYC culture and maybe I don’t belong here.” So I thought about moving someplace where things were simpler, thinking that would solve my problem.

So I took a couple trips out to Austin and visited my dad in one of the most rural places in the country, 

The truth is that networking becomes less and less valuable over time.

I have a friend who would preferably schedule lunch or dinner meetings because he interested in the food he was eating than the person he was meeting. 

As a 23 year old with fresh graduate friends, I’ve also heard this phenomena described as “becoming a real person," "getting married,” “getting a real job,” “hustling,” or “dropping off the face of the planet.”

It’s what your friend will say when someone stops showing up to Fish Taco Mondays.

I don’t think anybody has trouble understanding how or why this happens. 

Networking is an important part of the tech culture here. 

I remember the idea being distinctly strange at first. Some

There’s value in meeting people. There’s opportunity.

I’m typing this post from a leather chair in a makeshift living room at Lynx Labs in Austin TX.

I met an Nick Shelton, an engineer working on computer vision, while interning at Facebook for a summer in California in 2011.