New Study On Founder-Focused Events: Worth The Time Or A Distraction?


Attending events targeted towards founders has long been touted as a valuable way to gain insights, make connections, and learn from others in the startup ecosystem. However, a recent Twitter discussion sparked by former Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian revealed a different perspective. Ohanian shared that if he could turn back time, he would have spent significantly less time attending events, seeing them as little more than platforms for people to boast about their success.

Key Takeaway

While the debate on the usefulness of founder-focused events continues, a recent survey of 52 founders found no clear consensus. Some founders expressed a desire to attend more events, while others believed it would be more beneficial to reduce their event attendance.

Understanding the Divided Opinions

Among the founders surveyed, 19% expressed a desire to attend more events if given the option, highlighting the potential benefits they see in these gatherings. These individuals value the opportunity to hear successful founders share their insights, engage in panel discussions, and network with investors at networking sessions.

On the other hand, 28% of respondents felt that their current level of event attendance strikes the right balance. They appreciate the knowledge-sharing and networking opportunities but understand the need to prioritize their time and focus on the core aspects of building their businesses.

Surprisingly, 26% of founders stated that they would attend fewer events if given the choice. This group believes that the time spent at events could be better utilized on actual business operations and strategy. They echo Ohanian’s sentiment that many event conversations tend to cover similar ground, offering little new information or opportunities for substantial growth.

It is worth noting that 27% of founders did not provide a direct answer to the question, but they did offer valuable insights into their perspective on such events. While their opinions varied, many acknowledged that the potential benefits of attending events heavily depend on factors such as the specific event’s content, the lineup of speakers, and the networking opportunities available.

The Importance of Personalization in Event Selection

As the results of this survey demonstrate, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether founder-focused events are worth the time investment. Each founder’s decision ultimately hinges on their individual priorities, goals, and the stage of their startup.

For those considering attending such events, it is crucial to assess the potential value and align it with their specific needs. This means carefully evaluating the event’s agenda, the expertise of the speakers, and the likelihood of meaningful networking opportunities.

Ultimately, striking the right balance between attending events and focusing on core business activities remains a personal choice. Founders must weigh the potential benefits against the time and energy required to participate in these events and make an informed decision that aligns with their individual circumstances.

While the debate surrounding the usefulness of founder-focused events continues, one thing is clear: the path to success in the startup world is multifaceted, and founders must navigate it in a way that best suits their unique needs and goals.

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