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Alt Summit Summer // Initial thoughts

alt summer 2014 // a thousand threads
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might remember that January’s Alt Summit left me feeling a little discouraged. There were so many amazing folks doing so many amazing things, and I wasn’t sure if I’d ever measure up. But I resolved to stop whining and work harder, knowing that the work would eventually pay off.

Last week I returned to Alt as a speaker, wondering if I’d have a completely different experience or if I might just leave with that same scary pit in my stomach as before.

Well I’m happy to report that I did have a completely different experience, but it wasn’t because I was speaking.

alt summer 2014 // a thousand threads
First off, there are the obvious reasons that Alt Summer was different from the January event… the weather was (a little bit) warmer, the attendance was smaller, the parties were outside (♥). The event felt more intimate, but in many ways it also felt the same.

Then there are the things that I chose to do differently.

This time around, I tried to take it easy on the learning side of things, instead putting a higher premium on the connections I was able to make. I set more meetings, took more chances, said “hello” to more folks I’d never met, and tried my best to kick back and enjoy the fun.

As a result, Mark and I (oh ya, Mark was there… that was pretty different too, and completely amazing) walked away with some very real new friends.

alt summer 2014 // a thousand threadsalt summer 2014 // a thousand threads
I realized that in other years I’ve been so concerned with getting to every panel and taking down every note that, while I’ve walked away with a few amazing new connections, I’ve also forgotten to stop and take it all in.

That’s the thing about Alt. It’s not that I’ve really missed out in the past – I’ve learned some really valuable things. But at this stage I’m able to step back and see the value in every bit and piece that make up the whole of the experience.

Sure there are sponsors, and fancy swag, and an incredible amount of amazing information to take in, but it’s the people (the same people who once felt so intimidating) who really make Alt worth the trip.

A lot of good things happened for us this time around, but the friends we made along the way (like Matthew and Robbi, who we shared a flight with there and back!) made the trip.

And moments like the one above (Tan you rock) are the ones I’ll remember forever.

alt summer 2014 // a thousand threads
I might’ve missed a panel or two, but this time around I’m just so glad I was able to step back and enjoy.

2 Comments


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