So, How Are You Going to Help Out?
I’m the first to admit when I’m silly. Usually that brings good results, so let me share a story with you. Some months ago, right after the Any.DO investment, Omer Perchik and I went to the silicon valley to meet face-to-face with some of the investment syndicate, advisory board members and other valley based people that could help. One of those people was Paul Buchheit who just joined Y Combinator at the time and was kind enough to take an hour to get the pitch and give an opinion.
As we were exiting the building, Paul Graham came up to us and asked us when are our office hours. We were stumped. Neither of us had any clue what are these office hours he was talking about. He asked again. We retreated while mumbling something about not being from around there.
Some Internet education later and we realized what he was talking about. An important part of the Y Combinator program is calendar time where Paul & his partners devote to the startups – brainstorming about product, distribution, users & funding. This, in turn, started a trend where some of the silicon valley eco-system participants just accepted and advised people, at no charge, only to help out.
So, I figured we gotta have this in Israel.
And… I am glad to say that three months after the “Graham incident”, we already had our first office hours session at the junction, where Prasanna Srikhanta came by and gave a talk about the silicon valley culture and provided an insight where could he help these startups. This was followed by sessions with each of the startups that wanted some 1:1 time.
A couple of weeks ago we had our “Secrets of User Experience and Product Design” talk. Micha Porat posted some thoughts about it afterwards. I think the consensus was that you need (much much) more time for such a topic. So, I am proud and happy to say that Noa Bichovsky, Uri Ar and Eyal Shahar all committed to do regular good & bad case studies as open meetups. We’ll have those monthly (thanks! this is awesome)
… but …
Way-way cooler, we will have monthly office hours for the junction members at the time. Yes. Each of these three kick-ass UX people will come by and meet with junction members for 4 hours and help out. No strings attached, no upside required. I love this eco-system.
Your feedback is required: One additional idea that I’m toying with following a discussion with Roy Man (thanks mate!) is to allow top talent to do office hours with the junction startups. The way I envision this, it is like a sort of monthly speed dating with value. Ninja engineers, designers and product people that come in by reference could meet the companies that need such for an hour, hear the pitch, provide feedback, brainstorm and see whether they should start dating. Who knows, maybe we’ll have junction babies.
Tell us what you think of the idea in the comments, and lets work to set this up.