Why I Need Mixergy to Change
I recently ran into Andrew Warner at a conference and asked him what was next for Mixergy and like a good interviewer, he promptly asked me what I think should be next. I spent the next few days thinking about it, then sent him a long email outlining what I think would be a natural evolution for Mixergy. So we decided to have an on-air discussion.
For six years, I’ve been following Mixergy. I love its mission — Home of the Ambitious Upstart. I’ve learned a ton from all the amazing speakers and have connected with countless of smart and talented people throughout the years. So what’s the problem?
In the last six years, my business has scaled in revenue, customers, product innovation, business complexity, and even the average for employee age group. Along with my business, I no longer have a yearning to learn about the early stage issues. I don’t have major hiring issues and my business isn’t struggling to get its first 1,000 customers, 100,000 customers, or even 1 million customers. I am neither interested in learning about guerilla marketing tactics nor how someone got to their first $100k in revenue, or even how seed rounds are best raised. I am past that. I suspect a great deal of you are as well.
Tons of people don’t live near or around SV, so we are naturally cut out of events that would be beneficial from a networking standpoint. We either have to travel to SF to attend or just hope an event is happening if/when we’re in SF. Mixergy does live events from time to time, but those of us living outside of a reasonable driving distance are again left out.
Mixergy is ready for an evolution in the way it reaches its core audience — the evangelizers, the long-term followers, the people who have grown their business. My hope is that I can coax Andrew into starting down a new path. I’m pretty confident Mixergy can continue to do what it currently does best, however, it will definitely need to offer something different for the rest of us who are onto that next level.
Andrew and I had a long conversation about what Mixergy’s evolution may look like. Our first inclination was to offer small, live sessions where we have a handful of presenters speak candidly to a focused audience, followed by a Q&A. The small sessions would provide dedicated speakers to present to a devoted audience in a 5:1 audience to speaker ratio. The ultimate goal would be to allow the attendees a one-on-one session with a speaker afterwards.
Andrew suggested that the scale of such an event might still be too large for what we’re wishing to accomplish. Ultimately, what we settled on was duplicating the famed “Mixergy Scotch Nights” that Andrew has been championing for a while now. These events are intimate and provide just the right type of atmosphere for comradery, advice, and networking all at once.
What we’re hoping to do is host these “up-meets” and dubbing them MixergyLA, MixergyNY, Mixergy(your_city_goes_here) in hopes of achieving two things: 1) Empower tech communities that are marginalized by virtue of their location and 2) Enable this segment to build a brain trust. This is especially important in areas where technology is underrepresented. Mixergy can leverage its brand recognition and thus become the hub for incubating these communities.
The proposal implicitly suggests to de-centralize Mixergy and make it even more inclusive. Most of us don’t live in SV, Boulder or NY where the tech startup scenes are strong. This doesn’t mean other cities don’t have smart, talented people. It just means they are farther spread out and the startup scene is still marginalized. Mixergy can take its brand recognition and serve as a medium to individuals living in these regions. So if you live in Idaho, MixergyID can serve as a catalyst and help organize an event. This way Mixergy can continue to serve its mission by facilitating a narrative where one does not exist or does not exist robustly.
We are open to hear what you all think of the idea. Of course there are other event platforms that already do what we’re suggesting. Meet-ups, tie.org, etc. Our focus is to serve Mixergy’s audience where a focused narrative has been cultivated over the years.