I already had an idea of the benefits of having good networking, but I have to admit that living here made me see that moment with different eyes. One of the things that add value to Silicon Valley for me is the connection between people. The most important thing I learned from being here was the importance of meeting people, networking.
The ability to meet people in the professional world is today, for me, one of the most significant qualities that an entrepreneur can have. Networking shortens paths, opens doors. This does not mean that good networking is all you need. Without a quality product, even if your best friend is Bill Gates, you will not be successful. Being a friend of Bill Gates, on the other hand, would help you meet relevant partners and first-tier investors, for example.
The benefit of meeting people is something that is part of my life since I grew up in the political capital of Brazil. However, the view of Silicon Valley is different, and I think that’s good. Here people connect for the simple reason of learning from others, to listen to other experiences, help if possible. Helping for nothing in return, just because you can pass your experience and technique forward.
For this reason, networking here is a giant market. There are companies specialized in creating open networking events. Also, there is another non-profit chain where people with the same interest come together to talk about a specific subject. These non-profit events are called meetups. Meetup is the name of the most famous platform that helps to manage these events. There are Meetups for everything you imagine, and they happen literally every day of the week. From fascinated by Self-Driving Cars to people interested in discussing football. The big difference of these events is:
The people who go are looking to meet new people!
This is the difference between a Meetup and a simple bar talk, for example. Meetups are serious business.
You can create your own Meetup and invite the entire community that participates in this platform. Hosting such an event is simple and can bring good fruit to your startup. The big challenge of being the manager of an event is to make sure that people will come. The strategy most used here in the Valley is known worldwide: free food and drinks! Pizza and beer, usually.
The culture of the Meetup is very positive. It adds to your knowledge because it allows you to listen to the opinions of other people in the industry and increase your network quickly because everyone present is willing to meet new people. Plus, it's a simple, inexpensive way to stay fed here in Silicon Valley, it's practically a routine for some people. I don’t judge, because after all, who denies a pizza with a sip of cold beer?