Traveling to conferences is a rollercoaster ride of emotions for me.
One moment, I'm savoring the solitude of an airport lounge, and the next, I'm engulfed by the ache of missing my family. As the co-founder of an early-stage startup, fforward, attending events like TechCrunch Disrupt offers a whirlwind of opportunities and challenges.
In this blog post, I'll take you through my love-hate relationship with conference travel while trying to navigate the labyrinthine world of tech startups.
Ah, the airport—my temporary sanctuary. The thrill of passing through security checkpoints without a trail of children or anyone is oddly satisfying. For a brief moment, I'm free from responsibilities, free to be just me.
I break my normally strict schedule. I thoroughly enjoy late-night networking events, impromptu pitch sessions, and hanging out with like-minded professionals during conferences, which are my hall pass from disciplined schedules.
TechCrunch Disrupt is like the Super Bowl for tech enthusiasts. Meeting industry veterans, bouncing off ideas, and sharing what we at fforward are building—it's a thrilling experience. The immediate feedback and interaction can be invaluable for an early-stage startup.
No matter how exhilarating the conference may be, homesickness sets in almost instantaneously. Being away from my family, especially my kids, is the emotional toll that comes with the territory.
My inner clock despises me during these trips. Late nights and erratic schedules throw me off balance, and I can almost feel my circadian rhythm filing a complaint.
Ideally, my conference routine would be simple: sleep, eat, and talk to customers. Anything beyond this can often distract, including pitches from service companies eager to "help" us scale.
Conference travel is a double-edged sword. While the freedom, networking opportunities, and break from routine are invigorating, the trade-offs can be emotionally and physically taxing. Nonetheless, events like TechCrunch Disrupt are a necessary pilgrimage for startups like fforward. They offer a platform to learn, grow, and find that elusive product-market fit we're all chasing.
So, as I pack my bags and head off to yet another conference, I carry along both the love and the hate, knowing well that this complex relationship is all part of the startup journey.
Looking forward to meeting some of you there!