Founder productivity hack: The open meeting

This is a great hack for founders but also for any busy professional who gets a lot of inbound requests to network over coffee, drinks, etc. By adopting this hack you still get to meet interesting people and help people out but you don’t stress out your calendar in the process.

The hack is pretty simple:

  • Set a consistent weekly timeslot (I recommend 2 hours) and location that can accommodate at least a few people for a meeting. Could be your office, a big coffee shop, a bar…doesn’t matter just as long as there is space for people to congregate. (You could even do Skype instead. I know some folks who do this and it seems to work well for them)
  • When you get requests to meet for coffee reply to the person let them know that you will be available at the timeslot/location you selected. You should also let the person know they should email you the day before to let you know that they are coming.

I’ve started doing this recently and it works well. I get to meet a lot of interesting people and I don’t have to worry about scheduling specific time to do it. And the cross-pollination is great as well.

For example, this past week a guy I was helping with his startup job search also had some legal questions about a startup project he was working on. Turns out our company’s lawyer was visiting that day and was able to advise him on those questions, gratis.

Hat tip to a couple of folks (Charlie with his lunches and Vapiano and Amol with his Friday event) who introduced me to this great networking hack.




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