Tag Archives: networking

Introvert, Extrovert or Ambivert? Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

A recent book that got me thinking is Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. Really interesting read because I initially read it to better understand the introverts in my life. Interestingly, I discovered more about myself and how to interact with colleagues and loved ones better.

To most people I appear extroverted. To those whose known me for all of my life would say I am an extrovert. However, after reading this book, I tested to be an introvert. So I might be an “Ambivert” a personality trait including the qualities of both introversion and extraversion. So I found the Myers Brigg test and tested to be an introvert. So I dug out an old book to figure out what color my parachute was. Shockingly, the answers I used to give were different from how I would answer them now. So the color of my parachute is much different now that when I was college (yes, I’m a hoarder and somehow have my college copy too).

In the past decade my interests have moved from social gatherings to more intimate settings. My parties were replaced with yoga and mediation sessions. In the past few years, my large groups of friends were replaced with online communities that I led, assembled or connected. My dance music was replaced with old school jazz and eclectic world music. My daydreams of whirlwind international trips to metropolitan cities have satisfied with long secluded hikes in the California mountains and sea cliffs. My past anxieties of staying at home had been relieved somehow by my gardening, crocheting and art photography projects. Social media and my addiction to Instagram helps me continue me extrovert image, but if you count how often I’m with more than 1 person, its rare. Maybe I am a true Ambivert.

I found the most interesting parts of the book were the Extrovert Ideal and her observations on the differences between Asian Americans born and raised in America versus the ones who come here as adults. Comparing that to the Asians in Asia as observed by expats. The personality traits that each culture values and respects are drastically different. Leadership styles were in stark contrast of each other. Americans seem to value the extroverted leader and undervalue the introvert. Whereas in Asia the introvert’s calm demeanor seems to be the model f the rock solid leader.

As a Vietnamese-American born in Saigon and raised in Hawaii, which is officially America but it too has its own language and cultural identity. Assimilating was a bit confusing especially when my immigrants parents were trying their best to provide the basics. Between my extroverted “Tiger Mom” and extremely introverted father and the pulls of conforming to the Westernized social norms, it was a challenge. Needless to say, I straddled the introverted perfect grades bookworm as expected by the Tiger Mom with extroverted pursuits such as taking any leadership opportunity I was given. I’m not sure I ever figured out the balance between Eastern and Western cultures, hence my ambivert traits. So I ponder about the next generation.

When it comes to the business world and preparing for the future, it’s undeniable that Asia is a powerhouse. Japan dominated the eighties and now China is the world’s superpower. Asia was booming while American were still going through our recession. So how do we help Americans and future generations prepare for the decades ahead where Asian and Asian style leadership will be valued. I remember being in Hawaii in the eighties, the Japanese businessmen were trying to learn English. Now it’s the opposite. It the Americans learning to assimilate to Chinese culture. We’d have to address this cultural difference if we are to compete in the future.

Peter-Chen-and-Bryan-Pelz

GMIC SV 2012 – Connecting Global Innovators

GMIC SV 2012 in San Jose, I was lucky to experience it with a VIP pass which allowed me to join their VIP dinner reception the evening before the conference began. At my table I met some interesting VIP movers and shakers from the local area as well as those visiting from all over Asia. It was an impressive group of executives in the mobile industry who optimized their opportunity to rub elbows with investors, vendors representatives, government representatives and many more. It was interesting to see everyone’s hyper focus on exchanging business cards, shaking hands and working the room. There was so much synergy in the room it was palpable.

Here’s a quick summary of their wrap-up

This year, our vision of “Connecting Global Innovators” was brought to life at GMIC SV as we brought together over 5,400 attendees from 58 countries for 2 days in Silicon Valley.  GMIC SV was clearly not just another tech event. Our hope was that through GMIC SV, you would be able to better understand and connect with the global mobile industry and ultimately, grow your business.   And, with the support of over 60 partners, 45 advisors and 20 sponsors, we successfully fulfilled that vision.

9 stages with 200 speakers
From the Main Stage to the Global Stage to stages dedicated to startups and apps, we built a platform for attendees to hear from all aspects of the mobile industry. Attendees were able to learn from mobile-industry leading companies and thought leaders.

My experience connecting Global Innovators

The variety of seminars and speakers were impressive but their attendees were what really set this conference apart from other conferences I have experienced. I noticed the high caliber of Asian tech and mobile startups represented as well as the myriad of established sponsoring companies that want to strengthen their presence and alliances with the bay area and American tech companies. This was not just an expo where attendees march like zombies but they are actively listening, asking questions, exchanging knowledge, longer conversations and obvious business deals being hashed out.

At the conference I spent much of my time in the VIP lounge meeting and chatting with the fellow VIPs. I always skipped the VIP dinners because I was able to connect with some interesting people including successful billionaire expats, the social media king of Vietnam and a prodigy startup tech founder. The fact that I was able to connect some of these men who and the potentials of their future collaborations make this a very unique and eye-opening experience.

 

 

Mashable’s 3rd Annual Social Medial Day – San Francisco

It was a full house at The Box SF for Mashable‘s third-annual Social Media Day celebration in San Francisco on Saturday, June 30, 2012. The sold-out event featured networking, dancing, gadgets and, most importantly, commemorating the importance of social media in the world today.

I noticed three things. First thing I noticed, cool party. Second thing I noticed, lots of girls…at a tech party. Why? It’s just another reason to gather, drink, eat & tweet.

Mashable does know how to throw and nice Saturday happy hour complete with 2 open bars, house music, bad ass female DJ’s dreadlocks DJ duo A Plus D — a.k.a. Adrian and Mysterious D, photobooth, large spread of hors d’oeurves…and plenty of female attendees.

My male buddies needed to know what brought the women? These tech networking events are usually a sausage fest. Is it because it’s social media and marketing? No. After a quick survey the mystery was solved…  plenty of girls were there hoping to catch a glimpse of Mashable’s attractive founder, Pete Cashmore.

Continue reading “Mashable’s 3rd Annual Social Medial Day – San Francisco” »

Weekly & Monthly Networking opportunities

There are many websites to go to for event info but Eventbrite.com and meetup.com are my favorite resources for tech events around town.

Weekly

The Hub – Co-working space holds “90 seconds and a cookie” Thursdays @ 2pm – Milk, Cookies, and Mingling! A break for treats and conversation during the slump of the day. Members only or pay the daily fee to pitch

Nextspace – Co-working space holds Friday Happy Hours @ 4pm members or pay the daily fee to join

Hackers & Founders – Meetup group that holds weekly Wednesday lunches, locations vary between San Fran and the Silicon Valley.

Various Meetup happy hours. Refer to Meetup.com for the various groups.

Jumpstart – $15 JumpStartDays is a mentoring program for seed stage pre-funded, pre-revenue technology startups. Each month 12 entrepreneurs present to a panel of Keiretsu Forum angel investor members and seed stage VCs. The purpose of the program is to provide mentoring and resources to entrepreneurs to ‘jump start’ their company. The presenters benefit from the involvement of Keiretsu Forum’s members whose networks, time, resources, and experience are as valuable as their capital.

RockIT trivia – Tech recruiters leading a fun geek event with free beer & snacks.

Monthly

Life 3.0 - is the largest monthly startup demo show in San Francisco. We gather the most disruptive startup founders in the same room with investors, early adopters , and media. At Life 3.0, Funders and Founders mix to exchange ideas, do business, and get inspired.

Funders & Founders meetup - Different from Life 3.0. Its more of a lecture/Q&A with multiple industry leader speakers. Wine & refreshment usually served. $20

Networking After Work - Network After Work-San Francisco is a business and social networking event company. The events are created for professionals who want to expand their network, create new business opportunities, and mingle with other professionals. The events range in size from 200-600 professionals and take place in San Francisco’s best bars, nightclubs, and hotels.

Startup Waffles - started by the StartupDigest co-founders Chris & Brendan to bring together founders and hackers for tasty waffles.

Geek Girl Dinners -  the result of one geek in the UK, tired of being the only girl & having to constantly prove herself, who decided to go find more of her kind and invite them to dinner. This is the Bay Area Chapter. Free.

First Friday Happy Hours

Startup HQ – They provide beer & snacks bonus is the taco truck – BYOWallet

Women2.0 – Founder Friday – just down the street from the Startup HQ Happy Hour - BYOWallet

NextSpace – First friday work at NextSpace for free and stay for happy hour.

Workin’ It – Alumni Networking Tips

Even with all the technology social media today, nothing beats the old-fashioned one-on-one personal meeting. There’s a certain connection that is made and a rapport that’s developed very quickly upon a live in-person meeting. I recently moved to the

Bay Area from Los Angeles.  One f the first places I looked to expand my professional network is USC. Luckily, the Trojan family is very strong and there’s plenty of opportunities even up here. Here are some tips I found useful when I am networking with alumni:

Tip #1 – Your university alumni network is a great resource. With everyone being online now, its easy to track down your college buddies via the university’s alumni webpage, LinkedIn groups, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Google+, etc. Attending an alumni event is always a good way of expanding your professional network and maybe connect with old friends.

Tip #2 – Get noticed, if you were asked to speak or have an opportunity to speak, don’t be shy. Grab the microphone and be ready with a snazzy intro. First impressions are everything. In the photos, I’m wearing a hot pink scarf when caught a lot of people’s eye, so the photographer took plenty of photos, especially during my speech.  So when the alumni followed up with me via email, the scarf was mentioned multiple times.

Tip #3 – When speaking in front of a crowd, I tend to scan the room to see the audience. If I’m ever nervous I just make eye contact from time to time with a friendly face. It’s natural, just take a breath and wing it!

Tip #4 – Work the crowd, shake as many hands as possible. However, remember, whenever given an opportunity, always speak to someone one-on-one for a more meaningful conversation. It’s amazing what might come out of  a 2 minute conversation even at an expo.

Tip #5 – Always bring some cards with you. After you exchange cards and they walked away, flip over the card and write how and where you met this other person so you could follow-up later. Maybe a hint on your conversation to jog your memory.

Tip #6 – If you are speaking to someone you really want to follow-up with but you forgot your cards, ask for their phone number or email and send them a quick text or email immediately.

Tip #7 – As soon as possible, follow-up with any conversations you might have had with someone. Do this while you are still fresh in their minds. Ask them for out for coffee or a meeting if possible.

Tip #8 – I’m not sure on the etiquette of this, but some people follow-up but adding this new person as a contact on Linkedin and other social media sites. Personally, I do not do this unless I have had extensive conversations with this person so my actually know my network of contacts. Others dislike being requested to add after just a quick first meeting.

Tip #9 – Networking for me is about meeting new people with the goal of meeting someone interesting. Through the conversation I learn about them and what they are doing currently and I often listen to see if that person is in need of anything. If they are and I could assist, I often volunteer to do something nice such as connect them with someone else that could help. Connections and synergy is what it’s about.

Tip #10 – Be genuine. People could tell right away if you aren’t, so just be yourself.

Remember…follow-up, follow-up, follow-up is key to your success. Good Luck!

Co-working – NextSpace & Sandbox Suites

NextSpace-SF

  • Location:
    •  In the heart of downtown SOMA financial district. Conveniently located near the BART & public transportation. This space has 2 levels on the 2nd and 3rd floor.
  • Ambiance:
    • Well decorated capturing the tech start-up feel with their open space plan, brick walls, primary colored walls mixed with neutrals, bright furniture & cool art
    • Hotdesking – shared desks and tables so you could work just about anywhere.
    • Comfy couches to lounge or work
    • Windows bringing in natural light to help energize members
    • Not too crowded and not too quite. Perfect place to work if you like hearing others around you. Not the best if you want a quite space to yourself. Small offices would be ok for that.
  • Great for networking:
    • Other founders and startups work there and the vibe is good, you could chat with other without feeling like you are in a library.
    • On Fridays at 4:45 pm they start their Member’s Happy Hour which are sometimes sponsored by local companies.
      • I was there when Tropo sponsored the beers and brought in reps to chat it up with members.
    • Conference rooms hold events that are free for members to attend.
      • I was there to attend a Brown Bag Lunch: Attract More Clients Now! by Coach from Clarity Unlimited
  • Tips:
    • Free trial day when you come for a tour
    • They have cubbies to stash your stuff
    • Office Manager was very nice and provided a Mac power cable when I forgot to pack mine.
    • They have a variety of membership levels to meet your needs & budget.
    • Members could use any other their other locations as well as the
    • They are members of a collaborative union…so members could use other Coworking spaces they are affiliated with.

 

Sandbox Suites:

I checked out 3 of their 4 locations. 

Union Square @ 567 Sutter

  • Location:Union Sqare
    • They had limited availability and had some opening up.
    • Conveniently located near everything.
  • Ambiance:
    • First thing that struck me was how quiet it was, especially being in Union Square. Great for those who want to quiet space to think and work.
    • Open space plan using bright colors, some accents and art.
    • Private offices have windows and general area has skylights bringing in lots of natural light.
    • The “Digital Bedouin” are the general hotdesking are in the open but the members are very quiet and network a bit less than other Coworking establishments.
  • Networking:
    • Free trial day in any of their multiple locations throughout the city.
    • They do hold Member Tea and events in the open “Atrium” there so there are chances to network.
  • Tips:
    • As a member, you could use and attend events at any of their 4 locations
    • Near a tons budget eateries, restaurants & bars.
    • They have a variety of membership levels to meet your needs & budget…when they become available.

  SOMA/SOUTH PARK @ 404 Bryant St

  • Location:
    • SOMA/South Beach/South Park near a many other Tech companies…where all the action is.
    • Near freeways and public parking. Bit of a walk from nearest Muni lines-Less convenient to public transportation
    • In the Basement – some windows provide light into the space, private offices which have glass walls bringing in the natural light to the general area.
  • Ambiance:
    • Open space plan using Modern & Minimal Mondrian-inspired decor-stark whites with bright primary colors
    • The “Digital Bedouin” are the general desks are in the open, generally lit using florescent lighting. Has a library feel to it.
    • Great productive space, members are quiet and network a bit less than other Coworking establishments
  • Great for networking:
    • Free trial day in any of their multiple locations throughout the city.
    • Open “Atrium” was used as an event space – members attend free.
    • I was there for a Funders & Founders Meetup event – “Crowdfunding Your Startup – The Future of Startup Funding” where they brought in relevant speakers and 75+ people in the startup/tech industry attended.
  • Tips:
    • Free trial day in any of their multiple locations throughout the city.
    • Office Manager Laura was very friendly and helpful.
    • Not near very many budget eateries like in downtown, however, it is near nice restaurants & bars.
    • South Park is a great place to take a break or eat at a nice restaurant.
    • They have a variety of membership levels to meet your needs & budget.
    • My favorite of the 3 Sandbox suites visited.

SOMA @ 123 10th Street

  • Location:
    • SOMA convenient to the BART & Muni lines, near Civic Center.
  • Ambiance:
    • Kitchy – College decor using off-white walls and brightly colored Ikea furniture & accessories.
    • Loft upstairs allows the space to have a more open feel.
    • The “Digital Bedouin” are the general desks downstairs, generally lit using florescent lighting.
    • Private desks and conference rooms upstairs – lack of natural lighting is a bit oppressive.
  • Tips:
    • Free trial day when you come for a tour
    • They have cubies to stash your stuff
    • As a member, you could use and attend events at any of their 4 locations
    • They have a variety of membership levels to meet your needs & budget.