I tried an experiment last week when I was in Seattle. I did two of my “random meetings” in cars between things.
I had a full day (a run with TA McCann (the CEO of Gist), the Gist board meeting, and then the Impinj board meeting. I had to catch a flight home to Denver at 5pm because I had a meeting first thing in the morning with one of our investors. So – I didn’t really have any slack time in my schedule.
TA had connected with me David Conrad who runs Design Commission and did some of the early design work for Gist. This intro was made and the meeting was planned a while ago. I shuffled the meeting around at the last minute so that it was sandwiched between the Gist and Impinj board meetings.
After I tweeted that I was heading to Seattle, I received an email from Marcelo Calbucci who is the publisher of the Seattle 2.0 blog and recently put on the Seattle 2.0 Awards. Marcelo asked to see if I had 15 minutes to talk about a couple of things.
Now – I hate to drive. I’m a shitty driver so when I travel I take cabs or have a driver take me around. My assistant Kelly plus Taxi Magic on my iPhone take care of me so I don’t really worry about it too much. So – I thought I’d try something different. I asked Kelly to see if David would be willing to drive me from Gist to Impinj and if Marcelo would be willing to drive me from Impinj to the airport. In exchange, they’d have me captive in their car for a meeting for however long the drive took.
Both agreed. I got where I was going safely, we ended up having a face to face meeting (that otherwise probably wouldn’t have happened), and we each have a memorable shared experience. Plus – I hope I was able to be a little helpful to them. Finally, I didn’t spend any money on a car service and – as a special bonus – David had a Prius so we get to feel like we were actually being somewhat energy efficient.
I thought this experiment was a success and I’ll definitely try it again. Pay attention to my tweets and/or TripIt account for where I’m heading – if you want to give me a “Random Ride” just holler. And hats off to both of these guys for being great entrepreneurs and just “making it happen” when given the chance, no matter how random it might seem.