This spring break I’m going to be riding the Miami Startup Bus. The more I find out about the competition the more surprised I am they let a sucker like me in. From the site, “StartupBus is a national competition. 6 buses of strangers travelling 60 miles per hour have 48 hours to conceive, build, and launch a startup.” When I tell people about this they say, “wow! what a great networking opportunity!” which it is, but when I hear it I cringe a little.

The word “networking” just sounds dirty to me. I picture a bunch of people in a room figuring out ways to best exploit those they bump into. Any time I’m at an event like that it’s difficult to trust the sincerity of those I meet. There’s no human connection when you know people are BSing BSers.

My naive idea is that you should just make friends. Connect with people you like and respect. Recognizing their talents and helping people leverage them is just part of that friendship.

[Edit: Not sure if this was clear – I’m planning on leaving the StartupBus with lots of new friends.]