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Nov 16

Community Hours At The WaterCooler

Posted by: Mark Solon        

A few years ago, I asked asked a very accomplished CEO what he most attributed his success to. Without even pausing he said “CASE”. “CASE”, I replied? “Right”, he said. Copy And Steal Everything.

In the spirit of CASE, I’m borrowing a page from my friend Brad Feld’s playbook. I’ve spent the last few years trying to figure out an efficient way to handle the growing number of requests for meetings. I really enjoy these and it’s a terrific way to stay plugged in to the community. More than anything though, the business community here in Boise was incredibly accessible to me when I moved here ten years ago and it feels good to be part of that continuum.


I pitched the idea of having Community Hours (aka Office Hours) to the awesome folks at Boise’s WaterCooler and they’ve graciously agreed to let me (and others) establish community hours there. Just as Brad sets up shop at the Techstars Bunker, once or twice a month I’ll be hanging out at the WaterCooler for a few hours and I’ll meet with anybody about anything. Hopefully, after a decade of working in the startup community here in Boise, I’ll be able to make some connections for a few people. If this proves to be successful and people enjoy it, I’ve convinced my partners (George, Glenn & Phil) to do the same.

To sign up for anyone’s Office Hours, simply visit the WaterCooler Office Hours page, set up an account, and go to the office hours page of the person you want to meet with. Make sure you leave your email address and a brief description of the purpose of the meeting.

A few tips to make the most of these meetings:

  • Be on time. With only about 20 minutes to meet, maximize the amount of time we spend together.
  • Let’s cut to the chase. We’re there for a purpose. If we need to establish next steps, we’ll schedule another meeting.
  • If there’s anything you want me to read before our meeting, send it to me at least a couple of days before we meet.
  • Teach me something. I’d love to leave each of these meetings having learned something I didn’t know before we met.

I’m really excited for this. It’s a great way to meet lots of people and I really enjoy the energy at the WaterCooler. Thanks to Krissa Wrigley for making this happen. My first Office Hours are set up for December 1st.


3 Responses to “Community Hours At The WaterCooler”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by techstars and Mark Solon, Kickstand. Kickstand said: RT @hwy12: I've borrowed a great idea (CASE) from @bfeld and @techstars and set up Community Hrs at Boise's WaterCooler [...]

  2. Jess Flynn says:

    Love this idea - will be scheduling office hours with you in the future! (And also plan to borrow/adopt/steal/embrace the CASE acronym :-)

  3. Mark Solon says:

    CASE: Why re-invent the wheel, right?

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