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I talk and email with a lot of “random” people. I’ve blogged about my random meeting policy in the past – whenever I reflect on it I realize that it has served me well. I never have any specific expectations for these meetings and almost always enjoy the people that I meet. I have the same approach with email – I try to respond to everything I get (that’s not spam), even if it’s a short “sorry – I can’t be helpful” or “this isn’t interesting to me – good luck with things” type of message. I’m sure I occasionally miss someone / something, but I try.
I often get email thank you notes for helping folks out. Since I started blogging, I get more of these that are random and unsolicited. Often they turn into an email relationship; occasionally even a friendship or a working relationship.
One of these random meetings – which started out via email – was with John Minnihan, the creator of Freepository. I poked around on the site, was interested in what he was up to, and offered to get together with him on a random day. We had a good first meeting, I gave him some feedback, introduced him to a few other people in Boulder that I thought there was potential for him / Freepository to collaborate with, and we stayed in touch. We’ve continued to email back and forth and had another call last week that resulted in some specific potential activity that could be helpful to his business.
A few days later I got a note from him that thanked me and told me he’d arranged for a gift certificate for me at the Homestead Restaurant. This was completely unexpected and – in addition – required a little effort on John’s part since the Homestead is one of the nice restaurants up here in Homer. To figure that out, he had to do a little bit of research on the web, pick up the phone, talk to the folks at the Homestead, and arrange for the gift certificate.
We took our neighbors The Schallock’s out to a delightful dinner at the Homestead on Friday. Lo and behold there was the gift certificate waiting for us from John. After the meal, when I settled the bill, we all thanked John for contributing to underwriting the dinner. Now that’s class – not just the gift, but the effort to figure out an interesting and memorable one. Thanks John.