Dear London Tech, we’re doing it wrong.
Below is a manifesto of how to be awesome and after, a reason why I thought I’d write it.
HOW TO BE AWESOME — A Manifesto.
If you’re in a startup — ask for help.
If you’ve been in a startup before — offer help.
If you think someone should meet someone — make it happen, and don’t stop until it does.
If you’re hiring and you don’t find fit — recommend them to someone else.
Make recommendations of investors, lawyers, accountants, consultants, freelancers, developers, writers, etc.
Say thank you, publicly.
Give a minimum 2 hours a week to helping others succeed.
If you’ve a marketing or innovation budget — use it to plant a thousand flowers, and learn to educate your boss on why it matters.
Share desks in your office.
Sponsor an event if you’re making money.
Give money to charity.
If you can pay something, then pay something.
Why are you teaching me to suck eggs, Ben?
This community has achieved so much. It’s mindblowing when I think about how far this whole scene has come, and there are so many to thank for their involvement, but I want to make a few observations, and I want us to get better.
We’ve lost our way. We’re doing it wrong. We need to get back to where we started.
Make NO mistake — I am incredibly positive about this scene.
I love our diversity, our equality, our companies, our co-working spaces, our government support, our educational initiatives, our social events, our get-aways, our fundraising, our creative joy.
But we’ve gotten competitive & we’ve stopped collaborating.
Space is at a premium. There’s a branded hackathing every weekend. There’s a new branded co-work-innovation-space-deep-pocketed-mega-corp-something every quarter, and everyone’s suddenly an innovation consultant because they read a blog once.
We need to stop looking for “our” slice of the pie. You can’t cut community in to pieces, it doesn’t work, it just dies.
You don’t get ROI for investing or sponsoring the community. You don’t create communities by charging for access. You don’t create investment opportunities by asking for finder fees. You don’t create community by building paid-for platforms. You don’t create community by taking handling fees for finding startups customers.
So how do we solve it?
We start giving it away. We start collaborating, we start connecting up, we start building intentional communities of the willing. We create autonomy, we partner up, we start saying yes, we keep making things happen, and we keep talking about what we want this community to be, and how to sustain it.
Stop looking for your slice of the pie, let’s start creating a sustainable, meaningful ecosystem that everyone can play in forever.
Let’s pay it forward. Let’s get back to where we started.