Spent some time today at the San Francisco meeting of the Silicon Valley Junto. an occasional group convened by Ben Casnocha and Chris Yeh to discuss interesting topics and reflective bigger questions off the record.
Not only did I have a great time,but I found myself thinking “How can I experience this more often?” Our topic was failure and what you learn from it, and as someone who has failed–and survived–multiple times–I valued both the chance to listen and learn from others, and tell my own stories.
Since the junto is off the record, I’m not going to go into our talk or who was there, but I will share some thoughts on why I thought this gathering worked so well.
- It’s a gathering of interesting, accomplished people–ie, the gathering point is not friendship, but intellect (though I assume you have to know Chris or Ben to get an invite, as well as appear to fit the criteria.
- There’s a marvelous randomness to it all. Unlike many hard-driving types, I am a huge believer in the power of randomness and sychronicity–For example, I saw a couple of people today at the lunch that I had no ideaI would meet–but I think I will see them sooner than later, now.
- It’s got Ben Casnocha. I met Ben this summer when he came to TechStars, and he’s wonderful–smart and reflective and focused. This Junto is very much in his spirit–he’s a large scale thinker, and very interested in what others can teach and share–with the emotional intelligence to assemble a group like this.
- The format–a small group in a quiet place, off the record–accelerated a feeling of community with the other participants, worth noting as we met up so quickly and then left.
Thanks for letting me take part, Ben. It was a blast.