Ideas for managing growth
As you doubtless know if you've subscribed to this RSS feed, 106 Miles has grown faster than we ever expected. Now we have the duty or opportunity of trying to figure out how to manage things in the way that is best for the most people.
Let me explain a little bit of our contraints. I would like to be as inclusive as possible while still maintaining the intimacy that I think makes us a little bit different. A lot of groups constrain size for reasons of exclusivity or control, but we do it mostly because it turns out to be incredibly hard to find a conference-style table that can seat more than 35 people. We also originally figured we'd only accept entrepreneurial engineers as members, although that's been really hard to hold the line on.
Basically the ideas we've heard have fallen into three main categories: change the format of the event; hold multiple sessions; and/or filter. These three ideas could be combined in various ways:
1) Make 106 events lectures rather than face-to-face Q&As.
2) Make 106 events more like traditional networking events (aka cocktail parties) than Q&As.
3) Keep the original format with a smaller group, and add a networking event for a larger group.
4) Hold one event in San Francisco and one event on the Peninsula/South Bay every month.
5) Ask all non-engineers to voluntarily quit 106.
6) Ask all non-engineers to only attend the networking events.
7) Involuntarily cut non-engineers by category until we get to the right size.
8) First come, first served with some pre-filtering to maintain group balance.
9) Pure first come, first served -- anyone can sign up whether they're an entrepreneurial engineer or not.
10) Move more of our activities online to relieve pressure from offline activities.
So this would be a really great time to hear from people about their preferences. Send me email or leave me a comment telling me what you think about the various options on the table. Oh, and if there's anyone who is on the Evite list but has realized you don't want to attend regularly, please don't hesitate to ask me to remove you -- I won't mind, honest! :-)