FoodSpotting Third Thursday: Ai Fiori, 5-7 PM

Monday lunch at a food truck was perhaps not the best idea, even though it was on the 15th of the month. But I am so glad the biggest event at South By South West revolved around food trucks. 2011 they did on one day, I think the plan is to do every day in 2012. That is when things are going to go really crazy for FoodSpotting. They do that and then they can raise 10 to 20 million dollars. Yahoo is going to want to buy them.

"I am a man of the people."
- Laloo Yadav

Then Fiona came up with the First Friday idea. I liked how it rhymed. It would be easy to remember. And more than 30 people did show up. But the momentum has not continued.

EatUps Don't Seem To Have A Monthly Rhythm
April Fool?
Image representing Foodspotting as depicted in...Image via CrunchBaseJoe's Shanghai: Dumplings Nazi

I think Amy Cao might have beat Fiona to this one, although they are on the same team, and I have every reason to believe they are comrades in every sense of the word. Amy got a few things right.

One, it is not about eating, it is about showing up and socializing. You do that best when everyone is standing. And the EatUps are not how FoodSpotting will grow. It is already doing 5,000 downloads a day last I heard. 10 bogus RSVPs will not take you from 5,000 to 5,010. But it is still important to do the EatUps. Why? So you get to feel like even though you are not even 20 people, your extended team is actually very large. And these events make your hard core users come out of the woodworks. It is like Kevin Rose did this weekly podcast called Diggnation. He said the audience was not even 0.1% of the Digg users, but these people were the core users. They were hard core. And so it was important to do the weekly podcasts for them.

Two, drinks are better than dishes. Keeps the focus on conversation.

Three, Thursday is a great day. You do something on a Friday evening and people can feel like you are eating into their weekend.

Four, 5-7 PM is a great block of time. That still leaves plenty of room for people to have Thursday evening plans.

Five, it is a rolling event. You can show up at five, or at six, or at six thirty. You can leave whenever you want. Or you can stay the entire time. You can stay past seven if you want.
Screenshot from opening sequence of diggnationImage via Wikipedia

Six, Midtown is a central location. Be nice to the people in The Bronx.

Seven, the venue is sleek. That helps.

Eight, the Manager was gracious. He was so thankful at the first event. Thank you all for coming, he said, and really meant it. I think sticking to the same venue makes a ton of sense. That does not mean there can not be other EatUps and DrinkUps other places at other times. Heck, the First Friday thing can continue. Why not?

But, I think, with the Third Thursday at Ai Fiori Amy Cao has hit a jackpot.

Ai Fiori FoodSpotting DrinkUp

Once I raise some money for my startup, I am getting a smartphone for FoodSpotting.

See you on May 19?
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