How SXSW Got Us Here
This website is a direct result of SXSW. Ali and I knew each other online and had even discussed the idea of a site similar to what ConstructivelyProductive.com has wound up becoming. But we’d dismissed the idea, thinking that we couldn’t do it.
You wouldn’t think one little trip to Austin would make that big of a difference. But the fact of the matter is that it changed everything. I’m thinking a lot about that this week as I get ready for this year’s SXSW.
I Recommend Legos
I’m a sucker for giant piles of Legos building blocks and I’m sure I’m not the only one. In fact, I happen to know Ali enjoys them, too. We met in person for the first time at a giant pile of Legos set out in a hallway at SXSW.
There was a real benefit to meeting in that sort of situation. You don’t have time to be shy if you’re looking for that one perfect building block. You just happen to chat while you’re looking for a green block or a piece long enough for whatever you’re building. Knowing the both of us, having that low-key opportunity to connect made a world of difference.
The Difference a Face-to-Face Conversation Makes
We build incredible, lasting relationships online. But they’re a different type of relationship than we create when we get to talk in person. That fact doesn’t make online connections any less valuable — just different. That means we have to make time for both types of connecting.
Depending on your goals, one type of connecting can be more important than another. In our case, starting a new website together probably wouldn’t have happened if we were only working on online connections. That’s because it’s rare to be able to built the sort of commitment most of us need in order to effectively go into business with another person online. In away it’s like dating. You can talk all you want online, but most people want to meet in person before you make things serious.
Make Friends with Everyone
Big projects take a network of support beyond just the buddy you’re working with. Ali and I have both spent more than a little time building up our own networks and, when we decided to launch this site, we already had people in place who were interested in the sorts of projects we like to do. Those connections, for the most part, were online, rather than in person. They were every bit as necessary as our face-to-face meeting.
Image by Flickr user Robert Banh
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