One thing that I’ve found interesting in the tech startup community (at least in Atlanta, but I’m sure it exists elsewhere) is that there are a lot of folks clamoring to be famous among the circle of other startups and entrepreneurs: even though fame in these circles does little for actual progress with their company.
It seems to me that some of these folks would be better served if they put their focus towards being famous in circles where their customers live, work, and play.
Startups make terrible customers for other startups. They have no money, infrastructure, staff, or other resources needed to be a good profitable customer.
In my entrepreneurial journey, I found the most profitable deposits of energy came from going “all in” on industry associations specific to my company (most recently: professional and trade associations, distance learning, eLearning, etc…). Most of these people were not in Atlanta. It required me to get on a plane often. To suck up sponsorship fees every year. To volunteer to be on conference planning committees. But it paid off in the right ways. It was the right place to be building relationships, street cred, and friends. Those were the relationships that moved the needle.
I’m not saying it’s not important to be actively involved in the startup community. Of course you need to be around peers and others in your same boat. But be sure it’s not at the expense of getting crazy involved with the circles with people who can change your trajectory.