Documenting the first JUANGREATMEET

WHAT: Juan Great Meet

WHERE: Astoria Plaza

WHEN: March 27, 2012

We were around 40 people packed in the Chelsea Room of Astoria. I started out with profusely thanking everyone who came.

I gave a short talk entitled, “The 5 EPIC fails which almost did us in,” which detailed the 5 worst mistakes we’ve ever done in our startup – these were also pretty much the 5 biggest lessons we had to learn.

Incidentally, the five were the following:

1) Bad hiring

2) Failing to listen to customers

3) Failing to think big

4) Saying yes to everything

5) Failing to plan for our own obsolescence

Here’s a short excerpt regarding hiring:

After some Q&A with me, we proceeded to the highlight of the night!

The group was divided into 6 subgroups. Each person had to answer the 2 questions: 1) What is the biggest challenge you are facing in your startup process, and either 2a) What help do you need? or 2b) What’s the best advice you could give?

Since a third of the group already were doing their startups and around two-thirds of the group were in the process or didn’t know where or how to start – the conversations which ensued were scintillating. Interestingly, the random groupings somehow turned out to be the best configuration possible – the right people met with the right people.

The room just had an unbelievable vibe and energy – people were talking excitedly about their plans, their startups, and advice. More importantly, people were doing resolutions: to start something, to help one another, to help push the cause further. So many exciting plans were laid out.

In the end, I had to kick people out of the room because we went way way beyond the allowed venue hours! That didn’t stop people from conversing along the corridors, however 🙂

Amazing night. Can’t wait to see where this goes.

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