A Retrospective on my time as Organizer of the SF Cryptocurrency Devs Meetup

In this post I discuss what I learned after seven months of organizing one of the largest cryptocurrency developer meetups in the heart of Silicon Valley — specifically I discuss three lessons, shedding insight on how we overcame the most significant obstacle faced by meetups, oss, and blockchain projects: building a community.

My very first event — Zcash 1/24/18

An AR fashion enthusiast, a charismatic entrepreneur, and a college student walk into a bar. No, that’s not the beginning of a bad joke, its a typical Wednesday night — a night filled with the laughter, chatter, speculation, and excitement following a technical deep dive into yet another exciting application of blockchain technology. Over my seven month campaign as co-organizer of the SF Crypto Devs Meetup group, I had the privilege of leading these events, every other Wednesday, sometimes even three or four weeks in a row. No matter what the topic, How to Contribute to Bitcoin Core, Cross-chain Atomic Swaps, or Discreet Log Contracts, I always ended up awake, late into the hours of Thursday morning, deep down the rabbit hole of trying to understand the why and how?

Alas this all came to an end this past Tuesday night as I handed off the baton to my successor, the wonderful Val Mack, in preparation for my return to Colby College where I will finish my undergrad (two years left, oh my!). So tonight, I sat down and pondered on my experience, the successful events, forgetting to order pizza, Mark Nadal’s neon green pants, and launching Block and Jerry’s. In doing so, one common theme stood out.

Community, the life and death of meetups, oss projects, and the entirety of the blockchain space.

The following are three stories, demonstrating lessons I learned on how to build an engaged, active, and enthusiastic community.

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