Networking events for IT professionals. Award winning blog series. Weekly podcast. Meet. Read. Listen. By @echodave, @bobwaltenspiel

Episode IV: A New Hope

2

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

It is a period of great unrest.

A rebel networking group, striking from a not-so-hidden base in Royal Oak have won their first victory against useless job fairs and horrible networking groups.  During a conversation late one night, the rebels stumble upon the plans for a secret weapon, THE PINK SLIP PARTY, an event with enough potential to start seriously helping people find jobs.

Scoffed at and mocked by nearly everyone in the area, Bob, Dave and Jeff race to pull this event together in just a matter of weeks, custodians of the plan that can help people and maybe even restore some stability to the metro Detroit area…

Okay, well, not THAT long ago.  It was only back in 2009.

And not REALLY that far away.  It all happened in Royal Oak.

untitled
Pretty bad ass…but still never made it to the next sequel. Like a lot of groups.

But we did fancy ourselves to be the Jedi against the Dark Side of the Force…and as any good geek will tell you about The Sith, “Always there are two…a Master…and an apprentice.”

Take your pick, but the combination of the bottom falling out of the economy combined with useless job fairs and horrible networking events were causing despair and depression throughout the galaxy metro Detroit area, and it was starting to have a visible effect on our own events. 

Rather than repeat myself, there’s a good recap of how we got started with our Pink Slip Party events over in “It’s All About Perspective” at http://www.ITintheD.org/index.php/631/its-all-about-perspective/

Back in late 2011, I revisited where we’d journeyed together and how we’d grown as a group in “Evolution” over at http://www.ITintheD.org/index.php/2628/evolution/

So read those, and that will bring you up to speed.

Because here we are, at the four year anniversary of our first Pink Slip Party event back on May 21st of 2009…and while many things have changed, in many ways we’re still that group of rebels fighting to make things better for ourselves and those around us.  We keep listening, tweaking, evolving and changing things.  We’ve come a long way from 5 guys sitting in a bar at the Post Bar in Ferndale…hell, that bar’s not even around any more, but we’re still going strong.  We’ve gone from those five guys to well over 700 back in March at our IT in The D event at St Andrews Hall.  We’re at over 500 people finding jobs directly through our events.

We’ve made some great finds when it comes to locations, and we’re even more committed to trying our best to make sure we stay hooked in to locally owned and operated places here in the area.  Whether it’s been a brewery like Dragonmead, Falling Down or Rochester Mills, or just cool little spots like Tipsy McStaggers or Como’s, our events just have a much deeper impact on spots like those, and that’s what we want to continue.  Just like people finding jobs is a happy little side effect of our group, helping a little place have a really great night for their establishment and staff is just as cool. 

1lengAnd now that it’s “cool” to have a networking group, they’re everywhere.  Some decent, some completely suck. 

Preying on the needy, the desperate, or the uninformed.

Siphoning cash out of people to line their own pockets for zero value-add.

No actual ties or involvement in the area whatsoever…well, other than grabbing those dollars from people here before heading out again.

In other words, The Dark Side of Networking.

We’re still here though.  No plans to go anywhere, either.

yoda-slide“Always in motion is the future”, and that’s why we continue to listen, tweak, change and evolve.

And every time we think we absolutely have everything down pat and figured out completely…along comes a curveball to remind us that we don’t.

More listening.  More tweaking.  More changing.  More evolving.

How long will ITintheD.org be around?

Who knows?

As long as it’s needed.  Or until we decide to stop drinking.

So probably “as long as it’s needed” is the safer bet.

The only constant is change, and so just like we’re not the same kind of group we were in 2001, and we’re not even the same kind of group we were in 2009, it’s an easy assumption to make that we’ll have evolved into some new directions by the time the next reflective look back is written.

One thing won’t ever change though, and that’s our commitment and dedication to trying to help foster connections within the metro Detroit information technology community, and in doing so, trying to make things a little better for all involved parties.

Besides, we’ve kind of come to the realization that in many ways, we’re superfluous at this point.  You’re a great group of folks.  You help each other out.  You point each other in the right direction when the three of us are already wrapped up doing the same.  You’ve learned to spot new folks and take them under your wing.

We really can’t ask for anything more than that.

Well…we could…but then we’d be That Guy…and we know you well enough to know that we’d never hear the end of it. 🙂

So thank you.  Thank you to those of you who have been around since 2001 and those who just made it to their first event last week at Lucky Strike in Novi.  It’s a phenomenal group of people that we’ve lucked in to having around us on a regular basis.

We’re just going to try and stay on target.

Now if someone would just explain the rules of holochess to us, that would be great…

2 Comments
  1. bubba says

    so what you are sayin is 5 geeks need a place to drink beer cause comic con doesnt serve beer???

    1. Dave says

      Well, that, and we wanted to get together more than once a year. 🙂

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: