Friday, January 27, 2012

friends with benefits (lyn)

A week ago I invite eleven friends over to help brainstorm ideas for the new business I have begun working on. I try to lure them with the promise of food.  I am lucky that I can honestly say my friends are all smart (some with strong creative skills, some with strong business skills, and some strong in both).  I am lucky.

But in the end, only four of my invites can come:
  • 2 have other work obligations.
  • 2 have other social obligations.
  • 1 is out of town.
  • 2 candidly tell me they really, "don't like doing these kinds of things."
In total, five people come:  four friends and a young and talented employee of the company with whom I'll be working.

I make an agenda, copy handouts, sharpen half a dozen pencils, set up my computer to give a product demonstration, and even clean my bathroom.  The only thing left to do is figure out the food.  It has to be easy and simple.

I decide on pizza and salad, the many cookies I already have, and real dishes (as in, no paper).  The salad is simple: romaine lettuce, goat cheese, tomatoes, portabella mushrooms (cooked), and a balsamic vinaigrette dressing.  Ordering in pizza is easy.  But deciding on kind and size is tricky.

16 inch or 18 inch?  One serves six and one serves eight.  But how many will each person eat and how big is each slice? And then what kind?  I like anchovies but I can’t assume anyone else does.  In the end, I choose two 18 inch pies, one a margherita (“fresh mozzarella, homemade marina sauce, virgin olive oil, and real parmigiano-reggiano on every slice”) and the other, onion. 

I think the meeting is a success. I gain valuable information, the group is creative and insightful, and all the food is eaten, with compliments even.  Plus, I have only one cookie for dessert.

Money aside, I really like working again.

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