So Startup Grind is definitely one of my favorite tech events. It’s always interesting and entertaining and there’s a certain personal aspect to it that I really enjoy. Also, Derek Andersen, the founder, is super cool and is just genuinely a nice guy. I’ve helped out at Startup Grind before but haven’t attended any of the events in a while, until my friend Anne recently offered me an invite to go see Greg Tseng speak. He was a client of hers and she wanted to attend and show support.
I went with her and was quickly reminded of why I was such a fan of the event. The talk was great and I had a lot of fun meeting new people and briefly reconnecting with Derek. We decided to meet again later and catch up.
So I met up with Derek and we discussed stuff. I wanted to help. I wanted to spread the word about Startup Grind and make it more accessible to San Franciscans by having more events in the city. I figured one of the ways I can help was to bring speakers, and during the conversation, Dave McClure’s name came up. What if Dave McClure spoke at Startup Grind? That would be awesome! For sure he’ll be great at Startup Grind and will draw in a big crowd, but how?
“So how do we reach Dave McClure?” – Me
“I was thinking of just walking into office and asking him.” – Derek
“Hmm.. I’m going to an event tonight where he’s speaking. I’ll try to get him to speak at Startup Grind.” – Me
“Yeah, sure. Do it, try” – Derek
That night, I got Dave McClure’s business card.
It was kind of accidental. I was talking to my friend Phil when he nudge me and told me that Dave was standing right behind me. So I courteously waited until Dave McClure finished his conversation with one of the co-founders from one of his portfolio companies. I managed to get about 30 seconds with him before he had to go.
“April’s not good but May is a little better, and the best way to reach me is to text or call” Dave said, handing me his card before he was ushered off to the stage. Getting Dave McClure’s business card was nice but the man is super busy and probably meets a ton of people everyday. He had probably already forgotten me and my 30 seconds interaction with him the moment he hit the stage.
Skip forward to weeks later..
Derek brought up planning an event to raise money for Hacker Dojo. Hacker Dojo is an iconic space for battered entrepreneurs, and it was going to be shut down by the city for not meeting safety standards they raise enough money for renovations. If we run this event and have good speakers, we’ll get the word out about Startup Grind and help Hacker Dojo as well. And of course, if we were to host a Startup Grind event to benefit Hacker Dojo, it’d be awesome to feature Dave McClure.
We got together to call Dave. No answer. We called 3 times that day, no answer. We could have just left a voicemail or a text, but where’s the fun in that? Hustlers don’t leave voicemails. Well, not when they can avoid it. So I proposed sending 500 cookies and deliver it to 500 Startups. That’ll capture his attention. Derek agreed, and being swamped with work, he let me head this whole ridiculous endeavor.
So I posted the job on Task Rabbit for someone to bake 500 cookies. Why Task Rabbit? Why not Zaarly, buy cookies at the store, or bake them myself? Because Task Rabbit is one of Dave McClure’s portfolio companies! So I posted up the job and on Wednesday morning, had 500 soft-baked chocolate chip cookies delivered to my door.
That afternoon, I drove down to Mountain View, and with Derek, composed a hand written card. We dropped our business card in there and rushed to 500 Startups HQ for delivery.
We arrived at Dave McClure’s office. The doors were locked but someone let us in and help direct us to Melissa. Melissa is the office administrator at 500 startups. She’s the gatekeeper, the pupetmaster, and the person that does all of Dave’s scheduling. She informed us that Dave was busy but she will make sure he sees the note and is notified of our attempt. Nobody has ever delivered 500 cookies before so she took a picture and tweeted us. We thanked her, got her card, left, and right away wrote a follow up email.
So now, we wait….