Aug 28 2013

Social discovery as an Economy

SoLoMo this, proximity networking that. Everybody knows what I’m
talking about. Connecting people because they are nearby [Highlight],
stealing people’s check-ins from Foursquare [Banjo], lumping 8 people together randomly after charging them 30 dollars [grubwithus] – is actually hurting the concept of connecting authentically with new people.

Social discovery as a concept has come a long way from the days of
Orkut, Meetup.com, and conferences.
Check out LetsLunch
Social discovery comes in many sizes, shapes and colors. For example,
in a sharing economy, you are getting a certain need fulfilled while being around someone you are meeting for the first time. Think Airbnb, Lyft, and Vayable.

The sharing economy, the connecting economy, and the “disrupting
craigslist” economy are all nothing but social discovery in a context
useful for certain
particular uses. It’s sharing your time/talent/treasure/passion. Call it
Social Discovery 2.0.

The internet brought with it the problem of people sharing all of their
time online. New problems bring new solutions, which gave rise to the
phenomenon of the sharing economy where you get to feel the same heart
racing of meeting people PLUS getting one of your needs met – as if the
solution lies in hitting the problem indirectly.

The basic urge of being in touch with other humans found multiple
channels combined with other needs such as saving money, utilizing
time properly, finding the right resources, etc. This has led to us
becoming smarter and more resourceful as well as more and more productive.

The question is: will it last? Do you get those frequent LinkedIn
requests requests from strangers to connect? Do you accept the
requests and then wonder what to do next? These people are still
complete strangers to you though now they are your connection, you
have just read their profile and probably know their name and their
job title. Does this action explain the human psychology?

As long as we are seeing the human connections and needs not being met
like the era of 1960’s and earlier, where you used to know all of your
neighbors, relatives, festival buddies. these sites will thrive.

Why, despite all of the improvements in education, standard of living,
economic mobility, and poverty, are we MORE hungry for personal
connections. And why is it that the more connected we get, the more
isolated we feel?

Despite us all being in more constant communication than ever,
research finds an increase in narcissism, loneliness, and depression
in the developed world over the past few decades.

Why is Groupon failing while E-Bay is still thriving? It’s because E-bay has the pulse rising effect of dealing with another human being on the other side. This explains why Craigslist is still one of the top 10 sites in the world. Not to forget Twitter which equally connects you with strangers too.

Modern capital life in all its goodness focuses on having us make
more money, buy more toys and be knowledge hordes of whats happening
to anyone anywhere anytime in the world. As we become more reliant on our iPhones, and more “connected” through Facebook, we can actually

become more disconnected from each other. Real connection is what we
crave. Yes, Facebook really did ruin everything. The explosion in
communication technologies over the past decades has re-oriented
society and put more psychological strain on us all to find our
identities and meaning.

There’s an immediacy available when we put down our smart phones and
dive into the present moment at a festival. Because what we need are
IRL (In Real Life) experiences, while we drown in a sea of URLs.

Social discovery 2.0 is its antidote to start putting us back in touch
with people.

What is the future of this trend? It’s social disovery 3.0 as simple as that.

Technology/trend evolves in three stages.

The first phase is when it shows its possible to do something.

In the second stage it becomes the cool thing to do. And finally, it

reaches a point where it becomes essential to do it. It follows the
progression: Friendster -> Myspace -> Facebook.

Social discovery 3.0 will be the stage where meeting new people will
become essential where to keep your career well oiled by having a good
network of professional contacts, becoming a global nomad – speaking
multiple languages and having a lifestyle that pays for it or simply
keeping your empathy intact by having dozes of real world connection
with people to be able to walk a mile in their shoes. Of course all driven by relevant context. Networking with varied people of multiple

talent is just limited to the upper class circles even today. However
in the last stage it will be easily accessed and adopted by even
common man whether in a village in India or most of the Europe.

Remember its not what you know but who you know!

Above all,  at the end of the day, this is all about
relationships – real connections and interactions.


Aug 19 2013

7 Lunches Around the World

Are you struggling to decide what to eat for lunch today? Well, we are too :(

 

And so that’s why we decided to put together a list of 7 countries at random, and some of the traditional lunch dishes that our colleagues and friends across the globe eat for lunch.

 

We are willing to bet that you’ll be even more hungrier than you were a few seconds ago….

 

  1. England

    http://www.essentially-england.com/images/fish_and_chips_smaller.jpg

  1. France
    http://emilyk.typepad.com/whats_for_lunch/images/p1150020.JPG

 

  1. China

    http://colorlines.com/archival_images/china_lunch_030111.jpg

 

  1. Japan

    http://gabuchan.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/japanese-bento-lunch.jpg

  1. India

http://www.shalusharma.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/My-Indian-Lunch.jpg

 

  1. South Korea http://travelhealthchai.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/korean-food.jpg?w=404&h=269

 

  1. Thailand

http://whatisthaifood.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Pad-Thai-with-Prawns-388×262.jpg

Obviously, every country couldn’t make the list but feel free to add names of additional names and their country of origin in the Comments section. Cheers!


Sep 27 2012

Widgets: Make your Desire to Grow Your Professional Network Better Known

Letslunch is now offering widgets that allow you to display your lunch availability on your blog, on social media or on your website. Now great professionals who read about you on your blog or website can easily reach out and meet with you. All you need to do is copy and paste the code from our ‘Widgets’ tab under resources and you’re ready to go!


Are you with a great company that is looking to make new business contacts? You can now display the Letslunch profiles of employees who are looking to meet new contacts for lunch. Check out this amazing example of a recruiting firm called Rockit Recruiting, http://rockitrecruiting.com/careers-lunched/. Potential clients who are already perusing your website now have a simple way to reach out to you right then.


Another great way to use widgets is for groups. Say your organization, such as the ‘FounderInstitute,’ http://LetsLunch.com/FI wants to promote their Letslunch group as well as their own members who are open to a networking lunch. Now members who are available for networking lunches can be prominently displayed on your organization’s website and easily discovered by other members or potential new members of your organization.


Lastly, don’t forget to try a Letslunch widget for job seekers and recruiters. If you are looking for a new job, make sure and put your Letslunch profile on your website or blog. If you are a recruiter, place your Letslunch profile on your website and make it easy for the talent to come to you!


Sep 24 2012

Introducing LetsLunch 3.0

Introducing LetsLunch 3.0

Check out Letslunch 3.0! We just had a big launch party in the UK sponsored by Adams Private Membership Club. We have several great VIPs on board in the UK and we’re moving full steam ahead.
Also, check out our latest write-up in Techcrunch.http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/21/letslunch-uk/. Letslunch is now live in the UK, France, Netherlands and Italy and  preparing for  aggressive expansion across Europe. Check out our new features below:



Sponsored Lunchers

“Looking for a designer, web developer, accountant, or other professionals?” Well, now service professionals can pay to ‘sponsor’ themselves on Letslunch to help them generate great contacts for their business. Letslunchers can now easily find such people and go to lunch with someone who’s services or advice they need.



Widgets

We’ve built new widgets that make it easier for job seekers, recruiters and groups to network with great people. Now you can add your Letslunch profile to your blog or webpage so when great people find you, they can immediately reach out and connect in real life!



Lunch Invites

We have two great new features to help you plan more lunches. The first, ‘Invite a New Contact’ helps you make use of that stack of business cards from people you’ve met, but haven’t connected with again. Simply  type in the contact’s email address and Letslunch will send an invite with your lunch availability.

Has it been awhile since you’ve connected with some of your Linkedin or Facebook contacts? Try the new ‘Reconnect with an Existing Contact’ feature and send your lunch availability to someone with  you haven’t connected in a while. It’s a simple quick way to reconnect. What are you waiting for?

Sincerely,
The LetsLunch Team


Aug 8 2012

50 Lunches with Entrepreneurs, journey of Francis Marantal

The LetsLunch team recently set out to meet its most active luncher, Francis, to ensure we got to celebrate his 50th lunch together.
Over the past months Francis met with dozens of entrepreneurs, designers, hackers, social media experts, and others for lunch, expanding his network.
“Lunch is an hour during the day which really gets me out of the intense work schedule and i so look forward to meeting a new person that its one of the high moment of the day for me,” says Francis. He followed by expressing his love of meeting fellow lunchers to speak deeply about common topics of interest and really get to know the person 1-on-1.
The LetsLunch community is extremely engaged with 20% of its users LetsLunch.com/search have enjoyed lunch with a dozen or more fellow users. Users choose when, where, and with whom they want to meet to accommodate their busy schedules and preferences.
If you haven’t already, join Francis and the rest of the community at letslunch.com. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback and experiences at feedback@LetsLunch.com 

Jun 18 2012

Free lunches for Engineers in Silicon Valley!

As the war for talent rages on in silicon valley, the hiring process has evolved into a courtship.

RockIT Recruiting wants to start these relationships by buying you lunch!

Engineers can use the LetsLunch powered page to decide where and when they want to have their lunch with one of RockIT’s employees.

RockIT is taking recruiting back to its roots- this is a people business and we care about the people we work with.

At RockIT, we see eating lunch as a necessary evil, so might as well get some networking in while you do it. RockIT has announced a new partnership with the networking startup LetsLunch.com to bring free lunches to engineers. With this partnership, job seekers are able to easily navigate to RockIT employees’ LetsLunch profiles straight from RockIT’s website. They can view and schedule available lunch slots, and specify preferred locations. To kick off this initiative, RockIT is hosting food trucks at its headquarters at 880 Harrison Street in San Francisco on Monday, June 18, from 11:30am to 1:30pm. Going forward, engineers can use RockIT’s Careers Lunched page, powered by LetsLunch, to schedule free lunches with RockIT employees. You don’t have to be looking for a job, you just need to be hungry!


Apr 23 2012

The Secret to Successful Networking is a Four Letter Word: Talk

A Harvard University study shows that 15% of the reason a person gets a job, keeps a job, or advances in a job is related to technical skills and job knowledge… 85% has to do with people skills.

In a recent Forbes Magazine article, The Secret to Successful Networking is a Four Letter Word, Mindy Lockard explains the keys to good networking — effective conversations. Whether it’s official business or social, making conversations can make or break how we build a network of people to call on as we make our journey up the professional ladder. The four things she outlines are: 1) Work your name; 2) Work to remember names; 3) Work to know others; 4) Work to help others connect.

And this can be very easy and efficient to do when you have LetsLunch here to help!


Apr 18 2012

LetsLunch lifestyle takes over in New Zealand!

Where would you take shelter if World War III breaks out tomorrow? USA? UK?
China? Probably not. These countries are too busy leading the world to be safe.
What about an island nation in the southern pacific that produces milk and dairy
as much as Middle East produces oil? New Zealand is the most isolated and
expansive fully developed nation in the world. However, kiwis utilize this
physical isolation and the smaller population to their advantage by building a
very strong connected community at the national level. With the launch of
LetsLunch in New Zealand on 26th March 2012, Kiwis are going gangbusters to
use this amazing concept to build meaningful business relationships grow their
network and connect with their community even further.


A fully sold out and an exclusive launch party at Auckland’s pristine Viaduct
restaurant Portofino was organized with a group of 50+ leading entrepreneurs,
business leaders, angel investors, media, politicians & other interesting
personalities across New Zealand. Groups of 4-6 people were placed together
keeping in mind their industries, background, & personality type to make sure
that everyone has a great time, build meaningful business relationships and
grow their network. A facebook competition was also organized to give
ambitious and passionate lunchers the opportunity to meet with high profile
business leaders by telling us on our New Zealand Facebook Page, “ How do you
see benefiting from LetsLunch?” We had terrific response to our competition
leading to 5 tickets being given away to the winners for their thoughtful
comments.


Due to the terrific launch event and a fully sold out event, LetsLunch got
explosive media coverage with articles in leading magazines such
 as Techday and  featured on TV3 

As the kiwis get busy lunching and building meaningful business relationships
over lunch, LetsLunch NZ Team has got concrete plans to take LetsLunch to
thousands of kiwis all around NZ.


Apr 5 2012

LetsLunch launches SMART group lunches with proprietary technology.

You asked, we listened.  LetsLunch now supports Group Lunches!

At LetsLunch, We have BIG ears. No Seriously. We do. We listen to your whispers before they become too loud.

Since the launch of Letslunch, we have been big fans of one to one lunches as it really gives each letsluncher the opportunity to connect and build meaningful business relationship and grow your network. However, the opportunity of meeting with multiple awesome letslunchers  at the same time is too enticing for many lunchers. That is exactly what we have for you today! The simplest & the most advanced way of setting up group lunches, with a touch of a button, ever built. Till now, LetsLunch has redefined the one to one networking space. Now, we are giving you a sure shot turbo charged way of developing meaningful relationships with Group Lunches. Here is how it works:

1.     Choose the table size and the restaurant name where you want to organize the group lunch. That is all you need to do!

We don’t take a cut from the restaurants so you can lunch on the cheap.  After all, it’s YOUR Group Lunch.

2.     Once you create the lunch, we will automatically notify all the awesome letslunchers near to the restaurant about your group lunch.

Groups help you meet people with similar interests and you can leverage the LetsLunch community to full potential.

Maximize your lunch ROI and meet several new people with similar interests.
Meet other awesome Lunchers with similar interests and connect with popular communities such as Hacker NewsFounderInstitute, or Online Marketing.

Join a Group or create your own

 


Create a group meal:

Choose a restaurant, table size, and date.  Leave it to us to invite other nearby Lunchers.  There is no need to worry about the menu, or pre-pay before the meal their share at the restaurant.  We do not take a cut to keep your cost low.

 

Start a discussion

Get to know your fellow Lunchers and engage in conversation online, before the meal begins.

    

 

We will continue adding awesome new features for our growing LetLunch community and appreciate any feedback or ideas you might have.  In the meantime, happy lunching!

Sincerely,

Team LetsLunch

 


Feb 16 2012

HackerNews goes offline via LetsLunch

This is the second article in a series outlining the new features released as part of LetsLunch 2.0. In the previous blog post we talked about introducing two people. Here we introduce the ‘Groups’ feature.

 

The ‘Groups’ function on LetsLunch.com allows users to create a group for people to join who have similar interests and networking goals. It skips the steps of composing request emails, checking calendars and locating lunch venues. Just create a group like the ‘Hacker News Group’ and set up a lunch event entering the time, date, location and a description letting the users know why they should have lunch with you and others. Up to 4 people can RSVP themselves to the group lunch event created by you. These groups are a great way to exchange ideas and check on lunches taking place near you. Just like the discussions on Hacker News are more serious and less provocative, similarly LetsLunch group lunches might be small, but the discussion doesn’t get drowned out by the presence of too many people. And as professionals of similar interests get together, the discussion won’t get diluted.

What are the benefits of ‘Groups’? Most networking events don’t provide the intimate, face-to-face interaction required to build trust with other business people. Networking events like meetup provide only the first step, i.e. exchange of business cards, after you have sifted through the many networkers with different goals and introduced yourself to someone you don’t know. It is then your job to follow up

and set up a meeting in person, which in itself requires phone calls and scheduling a convenient meeting time and place.

The Hacker News Group created on LetsLunch.com is meeting on Feb 21st 12 noon at the Grove Cafe, the first group lunch via LetsLunch.com for all you hacker news enthusiasts out there.