Interesting answers don’t come from mundane questions


This evening was another event in the London Entrepreneurial scene. But it turned out to be much more interesting than I’d first hoped for.

It all began at 5pm. I was sat at work, typing away when Dhru from NEF came and tapped me on the shoulder to say Hi. I said Hi. He was off to an event with CityUnruly / Unrulyversity in an hour and suggested I pop along too.

So at quarter to six I got on a Boris bike and rode out to Brick Lane where it was being held. There I caught up with Dhru again, and also Sam Walsh (fellow NEFer who has a great following on his blog). The theme of  the evening was similar to the NEF Workshop #2 in that it was all about where ideas come from.

Though this was less of a practical demonstration and more of a panel discussion. Each of the speakers told us a bit about themselves and also gave some advice on the best way of formulating ideas. Again, I took notes, and if anyone would like to know more about what was said, just get in touch and I’ll send them to you.

But the key themes were what’s been said before, and what is (one hopes) soon to be categorised as “common knowledge” e.g. get out of your routine, talk to people from different cultures/ backgrounds, share your ideas.

This was a great chance to get some fantastic insight from the panel on what they’d done, but the questions posed were either a veiled ego-massage (“What are your tips for being great?”) or one where the only answer is that it’s up to you (“When should I stop working on an idea and do something else?”.

Admittedly, on this occasion I didn’t have any show-stopping questions to ask, so wasn’t able to contribute to discussion. So in retrospect that does sound a little harsh.

The point I’m trying to make is that in a discussion all about generating new ideas, the questions weren’t very creative..

After the talking was done, Sam nipped off and me and Dhru Dhru and I went and chatted to the panel/ others in the audience.

Business cards in pockets, Dhru and I then went for a bite to eat. We generally talked about the future of technology, and how humans will interact with it. Web 3.0 and the like. It was fascinating, and as someone constructing a really creative, technology-enabled, human-based company called HaikuJAM, Dhru is an incredibly interesting person to chew the fat with on this.

He had some excellent insights into specifics of others’ business models, but also an infectious passion of the ability for humans to collaboratively create art through technology.

The more interesting questions I was asked, the more insightful answers I could give; a stark contrast to the “Who’s your favourite member of Westlife?” conversation a few hours earlier.

We spoke also of Thought Leaders and once we split the bill and parted ways, I felt I’d just said Goodbye to a Thought Leader of the future…