There’s no shortage of networking events for startups these days — it often can appear that there are now more networking events than there are functional compaies — but some entrepreneurs are now saying that they might not be as useful as they’re made out to be.
Only losers go to marketing events has been the refrain on Twitter over the last few days, and it has drawn mixed reactions on the social media platform. Some entrepreneurs say that the assessment is generally correct, and networking events don’t serve any real purpose. Others however say that they’ve benefited from these networking events, and would like to attend them.
The discussion began with the provocative quote being used by Jon Clemons, who says he’s built Japan’s number 1 resume app. “Only losers go to networking events. The only people you’ll meet at events are people who want something from you or aren’t meaningfully engaged in a pursuit of their own. Bored people are losers,” he wrote as a part of a longer essay.
“You see, $20, $40, or even $100 isn’t a strong enough filter for meeting interesting people because interesting people value their energy far more than that. The easiest way to meet interesting people is by having accomplished something yourself. Do something that makes you someone worth meeting; interesting people will reach out,” he said.
His views were echoed by Pieter Levels, who is one of the world’s best-known solopreneurs, and has built several successful products which net hundreds of thousands of dollars per month in profits. Levels doubled down on the only losers go to networking events line. “All the interesting and unique people I met are after I accomplished something myself and kept doing so or trying to repeatedly. Millionaires and then billionaires will message you if you do interesting stuff. And they become your friends. You won’t meet them at networking events,” he tweeted.
“People that regularly go to networking events are a massive red flag to me. Never met anyone really successful that goes there,” he wrote. Levels said that he met interesting people by being interesting himself. “The valuable “networking” for lack of a better term happens in DMs, chat groups and meeting up as friends But they’re not public meetups at all, you’d get too many random people. You do something cool, you get a message from cool people about it, you become friends over chat and meet up later,” he said.
These views were seemingly echoed by Gumroad founder Sahil Lavingia. “Networking events are for notworking people,” he tweeted.
Some people also began sharing memes on how networking events didn’t really help with career growth.
Now it wasn’t as though everyone was making fun of networking events — there were several people who defended the concept, and said that networking events added some value. But the idea that only losers attend marketing events isn’t new — as far back as 2016, we’d published a post in which a young startup founder had written about why he’d stopped attending networking events. “They gave you the illusion of doing real work when you weren’t doing real work,” the writer had concluded. It appears that some pretty big names in the startup space now agree.