Last week I attended the Boston Web Innovators Group meeting, #24 in the series.
I went to the first few of these, when they were small and contained mostly people who build stuff. Engineers and hands-on entrepreneurs.
There is definitely a need, a demand, a market for that kind of meeting. So it was successful from the very beginning. Congratulations and thank you to David Beisel of Venrock for organizing this thing and addressing the huge demand.
But over time, the meeting has grown bigger. Really, really big, in fact. Hundreds of people attend it, and it’s in a big ball room / conference venue in a hotel these days.
Unfortunately for me, it’s hurt the meeting. There are now a ton of other people that I’m not really interested in chatting with all that much, like IP lawyers and consultants. There are still a lot of great folks there, but they’re harder to find. The signal-to-noise ratio has dropped.
David et al are doing a lot to try and fight this: dinner and buzz groups and mini-sessions around the main events, etc. These might prove effective, and I’m trying them out.
But overall, the event is not quite as useful to me as it used to be, unfortunately. I wore an “I’m hiring…” name tag / badge last week, and I got a lot of people to come up and ask if I’m hiring anything other than engineers. We are, and I can connect people, but still…
Worth noting: one of the presentations, thredUp, was cool. Both the idea and the way it was presented.
Maybe I’m being selfish 😉 This meeting is good for the ecosystem, and we need more like it. I appreciate it. I just like the more focused groups better.