Sunday, April 10th, 2011...11:06 pm
My Office Hours
Recently I’ve begun to use a cool new website called Ohours.org to both host and attend office hours sessions. Similar to how you might remember it in college, office hours are scheduled blocks of time where people can sign up to have a face to face meeting and talk shop about whatever is of interest. Most people on Ohours are in the digital and start-up worlds but it by no means is limited to that.
I like the concept of being explicitly accessible to others in my industry. One of my favorite parts of being in the NYC tech/start-up scene is that almost everyone is reachable. I like meeting new people who have common interests, especially when they bring the fire and passion that seem to be in the DNA of so many great entrepreneurs. I often tell people that digital, sports and start-up/career path are three things that fascinate me and that I can talk/think about that stuff all day long. So I’m pretty sure that my office hour sessions will be interesting, at the very least, with the potential for me to learn about new stuff, expand my network and build relationships.
Last week I attended my first office hour sessions with Aaron Cohen at the swanky new co-working space General Assembly. Aaron is a serial entrepreneur who has founded multiple companies and has also been the CEO of Bolt Media and Menupages. I wanted to chat with Aaron abut local media but we hardly even touched that topic as the conversation veered in so many different interesting directions in the 20 minute scheduled time block.
I then held my first office hours last Friday at my office and had the pleasure of speaking with two different young and bright people who have interests in digital sports. I learned more about their current jobs and interests and hopefully shared some worthwhile advice. I enjoyed it.
I sometimes get hit up my friends/acquaintances that need advice with a digital or business idea or project. I try to tell them that the best thing to do is for us to schedule time where I can give my undivided attention and focus to helping out. Hopefully, office hours can be used for this as well.
I plan to hold office hours bi-weekly. It will probably be in the early mornings during the week as my day usually doesn’t get busy until 10am. My schedule will be posted on Ohours so come visit me and/or pass this on to anyone else who might be interested. My next scheduled office hours are this Friday (4/15) at 9am.
Alas, I would be remiss to write this post without mentioning that Ohours was created by my digital buddy and dodgeball teammate Nate Westheimer. Nate is a natural connector and facilitator and, despite being from Cincinatti!!, is one of the true leaders of the NYC digital start-up scene. He led the NYC Tech Meetup for a few years. After leaving his last venture, Nate declared that he needed to learn how to code in his HoPE Manifesto. In a matter of months he did just that and Ohours is his first project as a developer. I love the practicality of what he built, as Nate has been holding weekly office hours for a few years now and recognized the need for a better tool for people to connect, schedule and meet for office hours. If you’re interested to talk to Nate, sign up for his Ohours!