I’m getting a little bit tired of running my events list and seeing some of the best folks sitting behind the paywalls of people profiting off of the community’s attempt to talk to itself. Each week there are so many great events, blog posts, videos, etc. produced by community members that there’s hardly any reason to pay other than a token amount for in person innovation and startup related content. Expensive venues? Pricey box lunches? Not necessary! Let’s bring our $5 footlongs to one of the many open spaces that companies and institutions like Sun, Aol, CRESA, NYU/Poly, and Microsoft have been donating to the community for free.
It’s fine if you’re in the event business—but it’s frustrating to me that the media focuses a lot more attention on big conferences and paid series of sessions, and less on Barcamps, smaller Meetups and open public discussions. Four years, several dozen events and 3,000 people later, and we’ve still never gotten a nextNY feature in a media publication.
People ask me all the time how to get a job in venture capital or at a startup, and the one thing that I can point to that has enabled me to get the jobs I’ve gotten has been my contributions to the innovation community. That investment has driven a huge return for me both professionally and personally—and there’s no shortage of leadership opportunities that are just dying to be taken advantage of in NYC. Just the other day, I suggested to an ambitious young biz dev guy at a startup that he should band all the startup biz dev folks together in a professional group.
Similarly, as I did with Product Manager School, I’ll soon be working on Online Marketing school and CTO school and would love for someone to run with those programs. Got an idea for a program? Let me know and I’ll help you get it off the ground. NYC could use some more people leading the community from the inside, instead of profiting from it.
Here’s a job post:
Title: Community Leader
Company: New York Innovation Community
Job Location: New York, NY
Positions available: Dozens
Company Description: New York City has always been a center for business innovation. In the last five years, more and more of that innovation has come from the startup technology community—a thriving crowd that has gained a critical mass of both viable companies and accumulated wisdom. Startup success has also diversified across sectors. Not only is the Big Apple the advertising technology capital of the world, with huge successes like Doubleclick, Right Media, Tacoda, Linkshare and Quigo—but consumer facing startups like Meetup, Tumblr, and Foursquare are also key players as well. Not surprisingly, commerce is also central to NYC’s startup surge, with Gilt Groupe leading the way.
The community seeks ambitious individuals to enable NYC’s continued growth and development as a place to build successful companies. Critical to that development is helping the community help itself—to foster programs, events, and collaboration driven by the sole purpose to build a better and smarter community.
- Work towards showcasing the most knowledgeable and enlightening leaders as far and wide as possible, for little to no cost.
- Work hard to expose inspiring new voices that have yet to gain recognition—especially those who have achieved high levels of success in under the radar businesses, especially in B2B and niche sectors.
- Lead to build community, not direct profit.
- Contribute high quality dialogue and encourage intelligent voices to join more public conversation—interviews, podcast, video blogs, etc. are all viable channels for increased dissemination of innovation best practices
- Become a thoughtful voice and a beacon for likeminded individuals through blogging and Twitter
- Participate across many groups and Meetups—cross pollinating people and ideas. Don’t just attend your own stuff.
- Be a leader among people just like you and bring others along for your professional development
Compensation: Social capital
No prior leadership experience necessary.