Archive for the ‘finance’ Category

Meeting Tim O’Reilly

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

After lunch I was a bit down. I was having a hard time meeting people at the conference. I called my girlfriend for a peptalk.  She said “You did this all the time in highschool and college, just act like you belong”. I hung up on her in mid conversation because I saw someone from Dow Jones walking by. I started talking to him and he was nice.

Emboldened, I decided that I was going to buy a pack of cigarettes and stand outside the hotel smoking (I quit smoking 3 months ago). Smoking was always a great way of meeting people. When I had a cigarette with someone, I was normally good for a 3-5 minute conversation, much better than an elevator pitch. While I was walking towards a convenience store I saw Tim O’Reilly walking with another O’Reilly employee.
Me: Tim, Hi I’m Paddy I’m a big fan of yours. Thanks for putting on this conference.
Tim: Thanks. What do you do?

Me:I’m the founder of chartWidget we build licensable interactive charts.

Tim: We might need some charting work you should talk to [...] at the conference, Brady can introduce you. Thanks for coming to the conference.

Me: Well, I didn’t exactly come to the conference. I’m hanging out in the lobby. I don’t have tickets.

Tim: We can take care of that. Brady can you get him registered?

Me: Wow, thanks.

That made my day.

I spent the next day and a half at the conference and met many many people.

Thank you Tim.

Lobby Conning at O’Reilly Money:Tech

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

On Wednesday I went to the Waldorf Astoria to hang out in the lobby and meet people going to the money:tech conference. This was a $3000 conference, and being the founder of a growing start-up, I couldn’t afford the $3000 ticket, nor could any of my friends get me in for free. So, my idea was to hang out in the lobby – otherwise known as “lobby coning” – in hopes of finding people heading to offsite meetings (read: bars) where real business happens. I also wanted meet other people running finTech startups.


As soon as I walked in, I saw someone with a Money:Tech name tag. I walked up to him to introduce myself, when he asked: “Are you Jonah?” To which, I replied: “No, I’m not.” I proceeded to give him my pitch and explained that I’m not actually in the conference. He said, “Oh, you really should come.” I thought to myself “Dick, does it look like I’m in a position to spend $3k on this conference?” He was smug.


So I plopped myself down in what I thought was the lobby of the WA, and after looking around a bit, I realized that there were about 4 entrances to the hotel. Thus I would only have a 1/4 chance of meeting people. I chose a spot with access to WIFI, and out of boredom and curiosity, looked up ‘conference crashing.’ That’s when I discovered that the term for what I am doing is ‘lobby conning.’


Then I see Jim Cramer walk through the lobby – he’s a true celebrity to me. I got up and introduced myself to him. He was very nice, and actually soft spoken. He said he will check out chartWidget.


That was quite a high for me. The rest of the morning was uneventful, there weren’t large groups of people hanging out in the lobby. I also realized that since most of the finance people at the conference live in New York, they won’t be going out to bars after the conference, they would be going home. I was getting a bit down by lunch, because I hadn’t really met anyone else. I went out to grab food.