Why Alexis Ohanian RSVPs ‘No’ to Most Professional Events

May 25, 2023

If you are looking for a sense of community, intentional gatherings are the way.

The following was originally posted on LinkedIn by Reddit co-founder and The Grand supporter Alexis Ohanian.

When you're a new founder, you're going to get a LOT of invitations to dinners, meetups, conferences, events, etc. Say no to most of them. Here's why...

As I've mentioned previously, having meaningful conversations is super important when you're beginning your career – they help you learn a bunch and you never know where they'll lead. That said, it's equally important to avoid getting sucked into "startup society".

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." Sure, you *may* meet a good connection, but for the most part you're having the same convos over and over and over...

Before accepting an invitation, ask yourself:

1️⃣ Will there be people there who are valuable for you to meet for precise reasons?

2️⃣ Will there be people there who you feel a real connection with or who you want to support?

If you can’t answer yes to either of these questions, don’t go. If you go and realize you’re having a series of cookie-cutter conversations, leave. All things equal, 5 hours spent writing code / talking to users is infinitely more worthwhile than 5 hours of blind schmoozing.

As a founder, every decision you make has an opportunity cost. Be strategic about how you spend your time professionally — it'll also give you more time for life outside of work.

If you are looking for community — start here — intentional gatherings are the way, that's why we invested in The Grand: https://776.vc/3q0csFC