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Are Meetups becoming Failcamps?

Meetups — You get to meet people of all genres in variety stages of growth.

Events come in all sizes and there are many prospects who come here with problems when they are starting up. Meetups don’t have agenda, period. People with the biggest mouths become the show-stoppers. On few observations, its noted many discussions become “opportunities”, and most of them brag about their fund raising skills, or end up cribbing about their problems with accountants.

Most aspire to startup, but majority of the discussions revolves around how hard it is to startup. 95% startups FAIL. Its hard to accept, but a lot of startup meetups are becoming FAILCAMP! Few people pitch their products here when an opportunity throws in their way, but I will recommend to attend a few more months to understand the culture better. For no reason few entrepreneurs would be real serious down here. Although one may find it enterprising to pitch their product/services in a meetup, personally its something you can avoid. The big mistake people do is pitching products when someone cribs.

Most meetups end up having common recurring side-effects — reluctance to accept change, blanket negativity and herd mentality.

  • If someone says X-type of Marketing will only convert 1–2%, few people nod their heads in tandem, even having not spent a penny on PPC campaigns. Obviously, the cribber’s intend is always to sell/promote Y-type of Marketing, and most don’t find a reason why they strongly disagree to accept Y-type over X, but taking a word for a fact from a total stranger. Not everyone decides to counter this with facts, numbers or proofs, but agree and move on the reality. To plain speak, meetups are not a place recommended to pitch and advertise your product, but establish what problem you are trying to solve and how.
  • Many at-times, a lot of people barge in the events, irrelevant of what discussion is in progress, decide “step-in” a on-going conversation just to brag how many clients they have, start a debate on why, they are the only unique solution provider to the problem in the market.

As an organizer, its high time to setup the ground rules — No self-advertisements, perhaps. Most meetups sometimes turn to a game of offering free solutions to idiots problems — Everybody becomes an expert to solve problems! Knowingly, or unknowingly many startup “experts” decide to promote products/services of few already established players in the market, and who knows what the guy sitting next to you is building? Sometimes its good, but a recommendation from a total stranger is not usually taken with a pinch of self-interest.

It definitely will take a few touches to build traction with the teams. Besides, meetups are the best place on earth to meet grass-root level community and earn good relations. The chances you could meet your past clients (over future) in the meetups are obviously higher ; )

Keep hustling folks.



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SAPPOINT is an independent magazine on SAP