I have been actively meeting with tech folks from NY and SF over the past four months with the goal to gain new perspectives on the industry. The meetings usually last 30 mins to 1 hour, plenty of time to have a coffee, chat and/or code. Looking back, I have had 8 productive meetings (about half of total meetings) with truly great people varying in skills (developers/designers/investors) and experience levels (noobs/executives).
So far, the most insightful thing I have discovered is a pattern. The people I am most interested in following up with always tell me something I don't know the very first time we meet. Whether it is a story about a new collectionView experiment, a UX study, or an overseas experience it quickly finds its way into the conversation. Why is this happening?
It is happening because these are deeply passionate people. They have a small set of passions, engrained in them from years of devotion to an interest. It consumes them and they almost can not, not bring it up, especially when the conditions are right. For better or worse, I find myself in this category as well. I am not a type-a personality, far from it. But when asked about my interests, I find enjoyment in discussing and debating these interests and probably end up talking peoples ears off. And I guess I enjoy others who react the same way.
I will certainly look for this quality going forward.