Over the past couple of years I have been extremely focused on gaining knowledge and becoming an expert in web technologies. In my hunt for the source of that knowledge I inadvertently began a crusade of sorts. A crusade that prioritizes mass information absorption. I constantly attend meetups, conferences, read twitter, read articles attempting to keep up and learn more all the time. It has been exhausting. Until I started running a meetup and giving my own talks, then I realized where the best source of information comes from - people. Now I am talking less about technical information, although I can point to practices like pair programming for more technical skills, and more about information that is going to help me become a better person.
I have given a number of conference talks, and presentations at local meetups. Besides the nerves they are some of the best experiences I have had in my life, purely because of the conversations that follow. I have made some great friends, got some amazing feedback and realized that this type of interaction is unique and I CRAVE it. So it got me to thinking,
How can I maximize the amount of meaningful interactions I have with people?
I ask myself this constantly, and not just about tech talks either. I started trying to push these meaningful interactions when I went out to eat (which I still do). Things like sharing more about my life with a waiter, asking "deeper" questions to cashiers in the grocery store, but this was rarely giving me the same feeling. After some thinking I began empathizing more with people who gave me information. When you give someone information, whether it's positive or negative feedback, or teaching someone a new skill it puts you in a place of vulnerability. In my interactions with the wait-staff and cashiers I was forcing them to be vulnerable. When someone comes to speak with me at a meetup they are choosing to be vulnerable.
Not everyone feels comfortable enough to go to a public place and just strike up a conversation. So what if there was a way to lower the barrier to that vulnerability? What if we could help people take baby steps toward being vulnerable and sharing their extremely valuable opinions?
For me, the first part of this journey is providing a way for live presenters to connect more meaningfully with their audience before/during/after a presentation. Lowering the barrier to that proper human connection, taking steps without leaving your chair. Using the guard the internet provides to get us outside our comfort zone and deliver super meaningful interactions that can be extremely beneficial for many.
This is what I am currently working on! I am really excited about it and do not want to share details publicly yet (mostly because I haven't quite figured out how to convey the vision wording/designs). BUT part of getting the best feedback and building the best products is vulnerability (also diversity but that could be an entire post on its own). I am currently the only one building this product and I have a good vision for what it will accomplish. What I need is some feedback. Some people who I can share my designs, ideas, prototypes with and get honest feedback. I know this article is super vague but if you are at all interested I would love to share my vision, screenshots, writing with you privately! My goal is to release the first of many products within a few months and the more opinions I can get the better that launch will be and the more the product will help people.
If you are interested in seeing some of my first iterations of the product let me know! I'd love to get your reactions and opinions.
Thank you for reading ❤️