Build relationships around the experiences you share.
Ode to the Humble Potluck, that Building Block of Meaningful Relationships
The potluck. From its humble origins (the term derives from the 16th-century phrase, “the luck of the pot,” or food provided to an unexpected guest) to its present day utility as a hassle-free, often cozy way for people to meet, groups to convene, and friends to hangout, the time has come to embrace potlucks for what they are: awesome.
For our logo, we like the hummingbird.
The majestic hummingbird flaps its wings 40-80 times per second, and flits from meal to meal, sampling a little of all with other hummingbirds enjoying the same nearby.
Why we do what we do (Annie Chen, co-founder)
i’m social, i have a small number of close friends, i have a larger number of people i find interesting and want to get to know. i’m selective about who i spend time with.
i’m an introvert. the quality of the company is important to me. i have a great memory & can share anecdotes and details people often forget. i don’t document this stuff.
i hate it when people whip out their phones during movies, dinner, or when people are talking. this is not okay. since when did an idea of a social interaction become more important than the interaction you’re in?
i want an easy way to keep in touch. i’ll never use facebook: there is too much crap i don’t care about. too much noise. too much self-obsession. it may be the lowest common denominator for keeping people in your orbit. but i know what happens when you “queue” someone. right now i substitute deliberate action for the laziness that facebook allows. the set and forget mentality. i will remember first and last names, twitter handles, and google, and contact that person later.
the laziness mentality is okay - as long as the “set and forget” serves a purpose. i don’t want to end up with this meaningless network of ties ranging from super close to we met once. if “set and forget” means something actually comes of that action, then great.
tech should be our sidekick, not our overlord.
A generation of social?
alumn.us - our values
- In this together.
We share a sense of mutual accountability and support as we sail this ship of ours into uncharted territory.
- Permission to succeed and fail.
We encourage each other to do that which we fear. No matter what, you will always learn… we hope the most important lesson: confidence and “yes and…” are essential.
- Be humble and direct.
- Genius is born out of non-sequiturs.
If one thought isn’t good on its own, throw in another thought to make thought pie.
- Strengthen relationships, build community.
Help each other shine through thoughtful action and meaningful interactions.
- Stay naive enough to change the world.
Positivity, joy, and youthful curiosity — terribly underrated.
Why name-dropping is a good thing
Alumni (in the traditional sense) hold a special place in my heart. We share so much with our schoolmates. Inspiring teachers. Senile ones. Forays into mischief. Fights and tears. Notes in class. Getting destroyed in dodgeball.*
Sharing an experience with someone is powerful. It’s intimate. It inspires empathy: we’re going through this together. And this happens despite proximity and the passage of time.
Busy globetrotting entrepreneurs 10 years your senior will find time to reminisce about mandatory French class in primary school. Award-winning authors will publicly joke with you about the “old alma”. It can be surprising but it shouldn’t be. That shared experience of schooling under the same roof was life-defining to you. Why would you expect it to be different for others?
And schools are just the most salient example. What about the other shared experiences large and small, enduring and ephemeral, joyous and distressing — that have shaped your life?
I think there’s something to this idea. Something worth building a company around. With a fellow alum.
*Just one woman’s opinion here, but damn that was a quality sport.