by Ashley Vanni
Ashley Nicolei attended Startup Social with Startup Monthly last Thursday night at SupperclubSF. Growing up in Silicon Valley, Ashley has always had an appreciation for technology, development, innovative ideas, and orchestrators. When she caught wind of the startup social being held at San Francisco's very own Supperclub, the savvy little writer knew she had to attend.
Walking in to the event, the bar was surrounded by suits and executives. A pleasant chatter filled the front room and it was evident that bright minds were connecting. To the side of the front room, a photo booth with costume props and a small set had been arranged. A digital artist prompting and editing the shots, another form of creativity and art at work. An outlet, a new medium for intelligent minds to express themselves through.
Opening up into the third room, there was a DJ booth set up, a second bar, and a dance floor. The movers and the shakers (perhaps the orchestrators) were bonding over personal sense of style and their moves on the dance floor.
Upstairs was a separate space for the VIP & networking attendees. Surely Ashley would find her greatest story here, no? Perhaps not the most fascinating of the evening, but easily the most inspiring.A pleasant mix of young minds and already accomplished individuals. Ashley met a student who is into International Business and Tech Relations, currently studying at UC Berkeley. He had won a ticket to the event along with a VIP Pass at his school's raffle. His genuine excitement and gratitude for being able to attend the event reminds us to be thankful for the rich resources a few of us have at our fingertips and not to take them for granted. There are brilliant minds out there who would love to trade shoes for an evening. And network on the dance floor.
Migrating back to the main floor and bars below, Ashley was able to connect with another individual, originally from Los Angeles and had recently relocated to San Francisco for work purposes. His latest project in stealth mode, there is not much he could share in regards to details and the project but was equally inspiring and thankful to be attending the event.
Her greatest story and source of information was a young man whom Ashley met towards the end of the event in the front room at the bar. Approachable and intriguing, Ashley asked the individual what he does for work and can honestly say she was blown away by his response. Business with a greater cause than capital alone and the exchange of information. Motive and drive being to re-introduce the Internet and forum platform as a resource rich in content and a reputable source of intelligent conversation. How? To create a forum platform that requires users to think before they post and share their opinion. Users are held responsible for their words and their actions (the forum does not allow users to edit or delete their content once posted). Users are also not allowed to change or edit their user name - so the name you wish to introduce to the world initially is the one you will be stuck with, select carefully.
The mind behind the forum is the most fascinating. It studies user's behavioral analytics to weed out predators, cyber bullies, and trolls. It picks up on aspects and patterns of the user's interactions and behavioral tendencies, flagging inappropriate and potentially dangerous content and users. It also does not allow images to be inserted into the content box by users. Why? Images inserted next to rich content uses a different part of our brain, disrupting the informational flow (we analyze words and pictures differently). The forum challenges us to think rather than be swayed by a visual impulse (what is more attractive to the eye).
The young man's mission is to encourage society to be accountable for words and actions and to provide people with a forum that is reminiscent of the 1990s (pre tech boom). He is not alone in craving interaction that is stable, rich in content an information, expressive, original, opinionated, and relatable. Clients relate to his mission, desiring something simple yet sleek enough to be thought of as professional and a format that can be customized to flow in harmony with their pre existing website. Nothing is more irritating than a mass produced widget or plugin on a personalized site - it cheapens the layout and associates the brand image with this negativity. In three months with no advertising, the platform has already obtained over 12,000 users and has clients in Forbes List.
The biggest lesson in attending a tech social event at a nightclub? The lesson of balance and to not jump to conclusions in judging rich content vs venue selection. Just because the networking event is hosted in a nightclub environment does not mean that the people attending lack credibility or intellect. Rather the opposite, gently reminding us the brightest of the brightest may be attending. Not only do these individuals possess minds of inventors and businessmen, they also understand the concept of maintaining balance. An approachable, social, and casual setting is capable of connecting the brightest to the brightest. Do not be fooled. The new conference room is the dance floor. Thank you to Startup Monthly for making such a revelation possible.
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Startup Monthly Team includes Software Architects, UX Designers, Legal, Financial, Lean Startup experts, Serial Entrepreneurs and Industry experts