This is how we meetup!
Gabriel joined the Startuplandia team in February of 2020. With him he eventually brought on two more engineers, both college friends.
Fast forward 2 years to April 20, 2022, Gabriel and many more who joined our team finally meet in the real.
We have 4 days of “balmy” Yucatan heat to get to know each other. Amazingly, people in the real very closely reminded me of how I experience them on hangouts and via remote communication tools, I’m pretty sure this detail matters. It means that we bring, and over a period of two years, have brought our true selves to the table. In this period of time, 27 humans have collectively logged over 15,000 hours of design and engineering work across 30 projects. I have even a hard time thinking about or remembering all the crazy detail and nooks and crannies we’ve circulated to make this amount of work possible. I frequently contribute on 3-4 projects at a time and recruit/product manage another 5 (bonkers!).
As I write this, 2 days after our meetup has passed, a few keys aspects of how I structured our meetup warrant mentioning.
No ‘Team Building’ Activities
This might seem counterintuitive but for the record, WE HAVE ALREADY BUILT A TEAM!!! I don’t quite understand why so many companies emphasis the “team building” part of “off sites”. We build software so unless we show up to together and have some scrums or standups or code reviews, there exists no more surface area of our team with which to interact.
The Only Plan is No Plan
We had very simple parameters for our meetup, in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, start on 4/20 and end on 4/24. We mostly agree to meet daily for coffee around 10am and collectively decide on a plan based on how we felt. Day 1, went to a cenote then Startuplandia hosted dinner, Day 2, mostly people did their own thing, Day 3, Amazing Snorkeling from Catamaran Trip (Gracias Ramces!), Day 4, people did their own thing, Morning of Day 5, group coffee and good bye. Along the way, I hosted a dinner and people self organized to do the things that mattered to them.
Bring someone who matters to you
Partner, Wife, Baby, Puppy, Son and just yourself, we had a good blend of various +1s who particpated in whatever they wanted to, as a business leader, I felt like I really saw how many of our team members want to exist in their worlds. I believe that I truly experienced an authentic group of humans, many who I met via angel list and I feel very comfortable and confident in the professionalism of these people.
Alcohol Consumption For the Wise
Mexico has tons of opportunities to really hit the booze heavily, with the exception of an open bar (fully taken advantage of) on the catamaran, alcohol didn’t play a huge role in our trip. After a week in the heat looking after my own wife and baby, I feel great and I’m pretty sure not excessing over alcohol impacts this. More importantly, no single person made a decision about this, we drank, we had opportunities to drink more but people seemed to choose the mild happy path and I couldn’t be happier about it.
In closing, all I can really say is THANK YOU!!!
To all of our partners, clients, leaders and people who trust us with their projects, I love being a leader of this community and I love making technology, thank you to the moon!!!
p.s. Elon Musk just bought twitter, for real, I hope he figures out a business model that moves away from ads but doesn’t give him control over all tech marketing…