The last time I shared a hotel room with a friend/colleague was in Kenya last summer. My IMD classmate, Dongao, shared both a room AND a tent with me, in fact. Before that I shared a room in Orlando with one of my mom’s NASM coworkers at a Space Shuttle launch. Going even further back I have fond memories of sharing a room with my fellow Rice CS alum/entrepreneur/R7 Solutions employee at a GIS conference in San Diego. We were both working day and night to finish our presentations while also trying to finalize version 1.0 of our first software product at the same time. Somehow we still found time to see Terminator 3. Going even further back, I shared a room (albeit in a dorm not in a hotel) in college with an All-American Baseball Pitcher who would throw pillows at me if I snored at night–97 mph, OUCH!
Yesterday I spent all day at lift, where Poken debuted a version of our product that is integrated into a conference badge. Instead of exchanging business cards or writing down contact info, attendees can connect with each other online just by touching their badges together–by pokening! The conference badge poken is, of course, compatible with the original poken and I was pleased to see that several lift attendees showed up with their own pokens in hand and ready to network. Although it’s in French, you can see the new Poken conference badge starting at 19’40” here.
Several other Poken reps and I spent the day providing support to the conference users: helping them create their Poken accounts, answering questions, and just mingling/networking. Afterwards our Founder/CEO, Stephane, and I were invited to dine with the Sandbox Network at La Broche. The event was well organized and featured very stimulating conversation about the future of identity (along with good food and wine, of course!) with passionate, informed participants.
As we wrapped up, it was nearing midnight. Stephane and I contemplated the prospect of driving an hour back to Lausanne only to turn right back around in a few hours. Instead we agreed just to crash in Geneva for the night. We found a hotel near the restaurant that had a room available with two beds so we took it. The hotel was sketchtastic but we were so tired that we hardly noticed. When I protested that we had no change of clothes, Stephane suggested that underwear could be turned inside out to extend its usage. And so, on a night when we hit a sales milestone that would have had most companies breaking out the champagne, we instead crashed at a sketchy hotel in Geneva. Lol, I do love the startup lifestyle!
Now we are wrapping up our second day of lift and man, I am wiped. Many thanks go out to our CIO, Dave, who brought us not only fresh t-shirts but also tooth brushes, tooth paste, and deodorant this morning. I was interviewed a few times today so hopefully I wasn’t too disheveled! Having shared a hotel room with Stephane, I now feel somehow like a tighter bond with the company has been formed. And hey, at least Stephane doesn’t have a 97-mph fastball!