May 24, 2024
We asked 52 founders whether events are useful or a waste of time


Building a startup takes a lot of time and work. You need to not only build a great product, you need to hire, raise money, spend that money, and do it all in a way that will minimize mistakes and maximize profits.

There’s oceans of advice, too, on how to run a business. Events are one such source of knowledge, especially those aimed at founders. They intend to help entrepreneurs along their journey with stuff like panel discussions led by successful founders, investors talking about what they want to see, or networking happy hours.

But all of these events take time away from the actual task of building a company, and understandably, not everyone is convinced they are a good use of time.

A few months ago, Alexis Ohanian, the former co-founder of Reddit and current VC at Seven Seven Six, tweeted that if he could go back in time and do one thing differently when he was building Reddit, he would have spent significantly less time attending events.

“I wasted *so* much time going to things that ended up were just opportunities for people to talk about how they were “crushing it” or “killing it,” he tweeted. “Sure, you *may* meet a good connection, but for the most part you’re having the same convos over and over and over…”

A lot of people agreed with Ohanian, but there was a significant amount of discussion on the nuances of events and their various benefits and drawbacks. A lot of people disagreed with him, too. But it’s an intriguing topic, so we decided to ask 52 founders if they wish they had spent less, more or the same amount of time at founder-focused events.

Turns out, there isn’t a real consensus. Of those surveyed, 19% said they would attend more events if they could, 28% plan to attend the same amount as they do now, and 26% said they would attend fewer. The remaining 27% didn’t really answer the question, but did provide some insights into how they think about such events.





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