Johnson Cook

Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Johnson Cook - Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

FOMOGASE – A Condition Affecting Atlanta Entrepreneurs, Especially in the Fall of 2013


FOMOIt only takes a glance at the calendars of Hypepotamus, ATDC, Startup Atlanta, TiE, EO Atlanta, MACC, or the Atlanta Tech Village to understand that the Atlanta entrepreneurial community is explosive right now. With the fall event calendars ramping up to hyperdrive, there is a condition I’m starting to experience that you may have encountered yourself.

Fear of Missing Out of Great Atlanta Startup Events… let’s go with FOMO for short.

See if this sounds familiar: You pull up Twitter one evening while you are cozily tucked in watching some good Netflix and you see comment after comment about this great event with rockstar speakers that you didn’t even know about.

Sure, it happens all the time.   In the last 3 months, in the Atlanta Tech Village alone, I counted 121 events on our internal event calendar. That averages to more than 1 per day. And that’s only in 1 venue!

With all this excitement, it’s important to remember balance and fight the natural tendency of FOMO.  Here are some things that are working for me.

- Prioritize events. Remember that your company and your goals come first. Be where your customers are first. Where your investors are second. And the rest of the community should fall into place after that. Also see my post about “In which circles do you want to be famous

- Live intentionally. If you have family, especially kids, ask yourself if missing the recital, art show, or soccer game is worth the event you are attending.   Part of living intentionally includes missing out on some events on both sides of the commute, just remember to be intentional. When you withdraw from one account, you should have a plan to bring its balance back up.

- Pace yourself.  This is the big one for me.  Since I started using SmartAlarm app to track my sleep hours, I see that I’m sleeping 9+ hour nights on the weekends. It’s because lately I’m completely and totally exhausted by Friday. I need to do a better job of managing my pace. Slow down. If I feel myself getting tired, I need to pass on some things and know that it’s for my health, my sanity, and (most importantly in the short term), my productivity.

- Twitter causes you to fixate.   There will always be tweets from events.  There won’t be tweets from the thousands of people who AREN’T at the events who are having dinner with their family or watching a movie and unwinding.  Our attention is drawn to the event Tweets because of FOMO, but refocus– think about what the twitter stream would be for a calm, chill evening at home. There’s nothing wrong with taking chill time, even though it won’t hit the Twitterverse.

Keep up the energy Atlanta, but remember to manage its output intentionally.



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