6 years ago, I was in the heart of the NYC entrepreneurial scene. It was a very quiet scene. Charlie O’Donnell was over at Union Square getting his venture capital learnings on, Naveen was over at Sony, and Nate was building Bricabox, and Galpert hadn’t even started conquering the art world with Aviary. To put it in perspective, there was no Twitter or even Andreesen Horowitz. I was the founder of a nyc startup that raised the largest Series A round since 2001 and everything for the most part went swimmingly for me.
I was pretty much everywhere I could be – any entrepreneurial event or early nextNY meetup, I was there. NY Tech Meetups were small; we could fit around a single coffee table. I hosted my own get-togethers (aka darrenSalon) and Winetables and really tried to understand how everything in the entrepreneurial world worked from the inside out.
Lately, for the past 24 months really, I’ve been studying from the outside in. Why? I’ve been laying low due to spending time with my wife and son in the evenings…. I’ve not looked back and I don’t regret it. Being out of the immediate scene allows things to fall into place and gives you enough time to chew on all of the hot new startups emerging such as Venmo, BankSimple, Tomzy (plug for my own project), Aprizi and others.
While I probably attend 1/20th (seriously) the amount of events that I used to, spending time with my now 18 month old son has been absolutely inspiring and with another one on the way (she’s coming in September), I expect another year and a half of laying low.
Does laying low feel mean that I’m disconnected from the NYC scene? I’m not feeling as disconnected as I thought I would be but mainly that’s because I see my nyc entrepreneurial friends fairly often for breakfast or lunch but also, thru twitter, blogs and facebook, I remain connected. If we didn’t live in a social world, maybe I’d feel out of the loop.
Because it’s Memorial Day Weekend and we give thanks to all the soldiers who are battling hard and those who have fallen – I wanted to reflect and also thank my wife who is certainly a soldier and is raising one heck of a cadet!