Reflections on NextGen Summit
NGS has been on my radar for a year now and the second iteration of the conference wasn't good timing for me.
But, for 2017, I was committed to making it work.
I arrived in NYC (my first time in the Big Apple) and my first two experiences were the madness I expected from the mecca.
- My Uber driver got side swiped by a delivery truck after he cut the truck driver off in traffic. Realizing his grave error he just continued to drive.
- A homeless man stole money from a kid, and then the parents of the kid starting beating up the homeless man!! Police were called and calamity ensued. A lot of people were filming so you can probably find it on YouTube.
My first day at NGS was awesome, met a lot of people. Young people. Hungry people. It was amazing to be in a place that reminded me that I was old and that I would've thrived even more so in my career had I had this in college. There were SharkTank contestants, Forbes 30 Under 30, Fortune 40 Under 40...a who's who of game-changers, rule-breakers, and disruptors. My kind of people.
Over the course of the weekend, I was in a constant state of confusion and awestruck. These people were younger than me and a lot of them were better at business than I was. My companies were simple 1-man shops. Some of these kids had 40 employees. Some had multiple offices. Some had satellites. What???
Needless to say, if you're young, ambitious, and entrepreneurial...this conference is where you should go hands-down.
The one knock was the organization and the attitude. You could tell that the young hotshots, were the hotshots because they only spoke with other hotshots. It was a clique mentality but they were independent of each other. You would hear about after-hours parties. Hush-hush dinners. Which isn't an issue, this happens at every conference. What threw me off was the visual of it. Everyone was friendly but standoffish. Helpful, but guarded. Interesting juxtaposition for a high-flying conference for high-flying youngsters.
Would I go back? Probably not. Would I go back if I was 5-7 years younger (I'm 27)? Definitely yes!
I very much recommend this conference for anyone 25 and under with some big dreams of disruption and running their own startup.