I think there's a new trend surfacing in Boston: the Open Office Hours movement.
The idea is that you create a time slot in your busy schedule when anyone can come meet with you and get some free face time (and perhaps some good advice.) Basically, there are no strings attached -- it's just a chance to get a slice of your attention somewhere other than a cocktail party or conference hallway. You might do it in your office, or at a cafe or other public place. You might ask people to sign up in advance, or just show up. Open Office Hours get announced via blogs and Twitter.
Venture capitalist Chip Hazard of Flybridge is holding Open Office Hours on December 9th (advance sign-up required). Rob Go of Spark Capital held them earlier this month in Kendall Square. Dogpatch Labs, a start-up workspace operated by Polaris Venture Partners in East Cambridge, has a combination open house/office hours every Thursday afternoon. Pennsylvania-based First Round Capital held office hours last summer at Toscanini's in Central Square.
I'm going to do office hours this coming Tuesday, November 24th, from 9-10:30 at Cosi in Kendall Square. It's a chance to tell me about what you're up to... new sectors or clusters you see emerging... trends worth covering... or things I should absolutely not write about anymore. (VC real estate moves, anyone?)
Here's how it'll work: 9 to 9:30 AM will be open to anyone -- just show up. From 9:30 to 10:30 AM, I'll have six 10-minute slots. Just e-mail me using the form at right (or by clicking my name in that right-hand column, under "About the Blogger") if you'd like to sign up for a slot, and let me know if you have a time preference or a range of times that work best for you in that 9:30 to 10:30 AM hour. I'll let you know here when all the sign-up slots are gone. Update: All the sign-up slots are gone, but feel free to come by in the 9 to 9:30 time slot for a chat.
And one more thing....I'd like to encourage entrepreneurs, investors, execs, and people running important non-profit initiatives related to the innovation economy to show up. Especially good is if you're planning to launch a new venture soon. My only request: no PR people. (I love you, but we already see each other enough.)
My hope is that other folks much more important than I will decide that doing Open Office Hours once a quarter is a great idea -- something that will make our region's innovation economy feel much more supportive of people just starting out, and trying to get momentum for a new idea.
Who ought to give it a try? People with expertise in PR and marketing; angel investors; attorneys; realtors; recruiters and HR experts; scientists and CTOs; logistics and operations mavens; killer sales and bizdev execs.
If you don't have a blog of your own, and you'd like to announce Open Office Hours, just post a comment here with the details and send me an e-mail, and I'll help spread the word.
Welcome to the movement, and I'll see you on Tuesday!
About Scott Kirsner
Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.
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More from Scott
December 9: Web Innovators Group
Demos of new mobile apps and web ventures at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge. Free admission; cash bar.
December 10: Fintech Demo Day
Short demos from startups in the financial technology realm.
December 11: Unpitch
Entrepreneurs and investors sit down for lunch, advice, and feedback. Entrepreneurs must apply to participate.