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How a Joke Became the New ExitEvent

Blog

5.9.11

It all started as a joke. Sort of.

In a blog post I wrote about Startup Stampede back in March after a successful night of socializing and realizing that these events now made up the bulk of my social calendar, I tossed out a throwaway line about how I needed to create my own event, partner with a local craft brewer, and then never have to worry about my social life again.

Ha ha. Whatever.

It's not like it's my entire social calendar. There's still Stamp Club and the weekly Strip Dungeons and Dragons. But yeah, these events boil down to people my age with my life problems, drinking and bullshitting. Not a lot of women. It's like a bowling league without the physical exertion.

Anyhow, a couple days later at the Startup Madness dinner, one of my friends at the table asked me about that joke and I elaborated a bit. That's when Cathy Hofknecht from Neu Concepts, whom I'd never met until three minutes prior, said that if I was serious about it, she'd host it. I jokingly said I might just take her up on that.

Good thing she was serious.

Because there were about a dozen other entrepreneurs there that night and I was able to run it up the flag pole. Without fail, those conversations went along these lines.

"It's a wacky idea, right?"

"No. It's a good idea. I'd go."

Aw man. I know a craft brewer too. And I still have the ExitEvent url and all the code from back when I was making a run with it as a business. It was going well, but I had to give it up when I went full time at StatSheet.

Anyway, an hour after it started, literally during a break in Startup Madness, I was on the phone with Erik Myers from Mystery Brewing, trying to get him to talk me off the ledge.

"Seriously dude, tell me this is crazy or a logistical nightmare or it's too expensive or there's too much paperwork."

"Actually, I'd be really interested in doing that. When's the first one?"

Yeah. This was happening.

And Cathy way understated her space. It's awesome. It can hold hundreds. However, in some kind of maniacal attempt to prove that this is still just some loopy dream, I'm starting small. I had planned on 15 but before I knew it I had 20, then I said 25 and it went to 30. Now I'm at 50. There's only so much beer.

I'm not being picky or elitist, so PLEASE don't think of it as a slight if I haven't reached out. There are dozens of folks I was not able to get to. I've been flying by the seat of my pants, five minutes here and there to loosely plan. There's a sign-up form on ExitEvent.com, so get on the email list and that's taken care of.

So think of this first one as a beta. I'm getting just a few people together to try it out, see if the ecosystem is ready for this kind of thing, see if this is the right event, see if we're not already startup event saturated, see if the event can be pulled off.

Surely one of those is false, right?

But just in case it all works, keep your June 13th open for a decidedly more epic ExitEvent.