Bob Cavezza's Blog

How I met Stephen Messer

It was the Summer of 2010 and I was on cloud 9 after presenting at the very first Techcrunch Disrupt Hackathon in New York City. As I was leaving the podium and going back to my seat, a man ran down the aisle and introduced himself to me. He said his name was Stephen Messer and he thought we were working on some really interesting things.

I did the normal thing of saying hello, talking for a bit, and then following up via email. A few days later, I got an email saying that he wanted to invite me to one of his Saturday morning entrepreneur meetings. His assistant sent me a PDF that “cordially invited me to a brunch” hosted by Stephen Messer.

The Brunch

This was really interesting to me at the time. I had thoughts of “this is what happens in the insider world of Silicon Alley. All the great entrepreneurs have brunch together and deals happen here. This is your first look into the world of successful entrepreneurs. You’re part of the club now. Enjoy it!”

Fast forward to that brunch, and it was really interesting. I knew nobody there except the other person who I worked with at the Hackathon. Everyone stood around and talked for a bit. Then we sat down to eat. After a little while, someone clanked a glass and Stephen started to talk.

“For those who haven’t been here before. Welcome. There are a few things you need to know about this brunch. First, I invited you because I thought you were interesting or are working on something interesting. Second, today you came here by yourself and you are getting a free pass because it’s your first time. Next time you come, you are expected to invite someone interesting. Third, make sure you bring someone interesting. If we don’t think you or the person you bring are interesting, we may not invite you back next time.”

Whoa! At first, I was really nervous about this. I wanted to be interesting. I hoped they thought I would be interesting. This was my chance to network with the entrepreneurial elite of New York City – if I’m not interesting – it might be my last!

I was sick the next time I was invited to brunch and was not able to attend. I never received an invitation again. My days of networking with the entrepreneurial elite of New York City were over just as soon as they began.

The Second Degree Brunch Concept

I love this concept! It’s about meeting people you don’t know through people you know. This happened six years ago and I was reminded of it today because someone shared Nat Eliason’s Blog with me. I was looking around his blog and I found this post entitled Second Degree Dinners. It’s the exact same concept that Stephen Messer invited me to 6 years ago in New York City – except dinners instead of brunches.

It’s an awesome concept and I want to bring this to Boston over the next couple of months. It’s something that starts out small and is supposed to stay small. I’m looking at you Jay Neely to be my cohost!

If you’re interesting in coming to one of these second degree brunches – send me an email – rcavezza [at] gmail.

§603 · October 6, 2016 · Business · · [Print]

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