My San Francisco Chronicles startups

9 Lessons Learned So Far at #Launch2013

Vivek Wadwha with the Diversity in Tech Panel at Launch 2013.
Vivek Wadwha with the Diversity in Tech Panel at Launch 2013.

Today is a special post from yours truly (and maybe Wednesday’s as well): this week I am in San Francisco attending the Launch Festival. So honored and grateful to be here, thanks to CoFounders Lab. Anyway, today was Day 1 and already I’ve met so many people and pitched the hell out of Denver’s startup scene. Also, I’ve learned a few important lessons, listed below:

  • Show up 10 minutes before Registration officially begins – I still had to wait in the “cold” weather, but I was able to get in to have enough time to eat some pastries, drink coffee, and chat with a few founders.
  • Do not walk up to fellow Coloradans after seeing tweet – Somebody from Fort Collins, CO was standing in line behind me and tweeted a pic of the line, essentially including my presence (my back) in the photo. I walked up to this person after I got my badge and introduced myself. Said person gave me a look for saying “I found you on Twitter.” -shakin’ my head- I didn’t reconnect with the person afterwards because he seemed uncomfortable that I was so forward with my intro.
  • Tweet a lot, get called a bot – I sent out a lot of tweets this morning/most of today with the official hashtag #Launch2013–beating out the official Launch account! During the VC Panel, I received tweets from other attendees saying I was a bot. First time for that to happen to me! I suppose I have quick thumbs … apparently the number of tweets I wrote were “humanly impossible.”
  • Wear gold-tipped shoes – Seems my description of my outfit wasn’t entirely unique except for telling others I was wearing “gold-tipped shoes”. One fellow founder jumped up and screamed “GOLD-TIPPED SHOES!” when she saw me walking by her table. Differentiating factor? 😛
  • Ethernet cords are still very useful – Many attendees were complaining about the wifi, but the Launch team prepped for the outcry with tons of ethernet cords supplied. So, if I had brought my MBP, I would have been able to be on computer, tweet, and do work.
  • Learn to navigate mazes to get food – A fellow founder and I had trouble locating the Google Entrepreneurs breakfast goodies .. we thought it was a bad joke that the only ‘breakfast’ we’d get was coffee. But then…we found the magical food section, hidden behind black curtains. After that, we became the food-direction masters, directing others towards the hidden treasure.
  • Make a tentative list of startups to visit in Demo Pit – The Demo Pit has so many companies! When I walked straight into the pit I got a huge sense of overwhelm. I should have made a list so I could hit up my favorite startups first! Well, I luckily have two more days.
  • Do not trust “booth babes” – I didn’t know what people were talking about…but now I know. There was a booth with women dressed in military fatigue, tall pumps, and provocative stockings. They looked like Barbie Dolls. And the whole booth was just offensive….anyway, @Jason got rid of the group so we won’t be seeing them tomorrow.
  • Tweet to other attendees to meet up, make awesome connections – Have already met so many people at Launch, all by reaching out via Twitter. Twitter definitely breaks the ice more easily. Then people know I’m a nice person, not weird 😛

The conference runs for the next two days, so I’m sure my Wednesday update may have more lessons (or just plain amusing moments).