Takeaways from Fireside Conference 2018


We just got back from Fireside conference, a 3-day retreat for innovators. The event was fun, relaxing, informative and inspiring. I’d like to share 3 takeaways from the event. But first, I want to give a big thanks to the organizers, Steven Pulver, Daniel Levine and their team, as well as Sol Birenbaum and the staff at Camp Walden for putting on such an amazing event. We got to connect with 400 incredible people in the pristine Ontario wilderness, learn from amazing speakers and enjoy fun activities like zip-lining and water skiing.

The first takeaway was the importance of resilience. Getting outside one’s comfort zone is a big part of the camp experience, something especially felt by those of us who did the ice bath or zip lining into frigid waters. This year we were privileged to be joined by Jason Calacanis, who further touched on the importance of resilience, by sharing his story of how he went from being an almost broke entrepreneur to being the world’s greatest Angel investor. Jason mentioned that evolution has made most people risk-averse, yet despite low odds in the short term, it’s much more likely to win in the long run.

Many thanks to Jason Calacanis, for joining us. I have been an avid listener of Jason’s podcasts, This Week in Startups and Angel, for the past 8 years, and has been an inspiration to me and my co-founders.

The second takeaway was the value of disconnecting. For 3 days we had no cell phone coverage, virtually no wi-fi and nowhere else to go. The result was that we got to form meaningful connections and take our time with each conversation.

The third takeaway was the value of team building and team bonding. Fireside conference was the ideal setting for this. Our friends at Hashtag Paid once again booked an entire cabin for their team. I was really impressed by how much spirit and enthusiasm their team showed.

This year 3 of us from Crowdlinker attended, including my incredible Co-Founder Aram and one of our talented Project Managers, Alison. Big thanks to our client, Skillit for the extra ticket. Next year, we would like to send dozens more of our staff from Crowdlinker.

Our friends at TechStars had two cabins and used the retreat as an opportunity to onboard their current cohort. Shout out to Sunil Sharma, of TechStars for making that happen. Sunil has been a long time friend and supporter of Crowdlinker and a pillar of the local startup community.

I’m really glad we took time out of our busy schedules to attend Fireside Conference. Not only was it time well spent, it was a life changing experience. I highly recommend you check it out next year.