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Ask Not What South Florida Tech Hub Can Do For You

on December 13, 2021 / by Alan Shimel ,

Read Time 4 Minutes

It has been great to see the great progress that South Florida Tech Hub has been making over these last few months. The joining of Tech Lauderdale (SFTA) and Palm Beach Tech (Tech Hub) promise to finally realize the potential that our local community holds.

Here at Techstrong Group we think it is important to be good community members. Towards that end we have tried to support South Florida Tech Hub and other community players like Boca Code whenever we can. We don’t have any sponsors based down here. This isn’t a big area for our community members. But nevertheless, we participate. It really was our pleasure to be a presenting sponsor of their ‘One Brand | One Voice’ Gala event at Signature Grand recently celebrating the unification between both organization. 

For those of you who did not attend there was a genuine excitement in the air that finally it is all coming together for the local tech scene here in South Florida. In my short speech at the Gala, I spoke about the elements needed to form a successful startup community that my friend Brad Feld has outlined in his “Startup Communities” series of books.  It really does seem like we have all the elements to make this happen for all of us.

But there is one thing I forgot to mention in the excitement of that evening. And that is selflessness.  To paraphrase John F. Kennedy, “ask not what South Florida Tech Hub can do for you. Ask what you can do for South Florida tech hub.”

What do I mean by that? Let me explain. Let’s be honest, for most of you reading this making South Florida Tech Hub and the community it serves successful will result in you and/or your business benefitting.  For all the altruistic sentiment expressed, we all have our own reasons for wanting this community to thrive. More customers, more money, more investments, more jobs, more, more, more.  But hey there is nothing wrong with that. As Gordon Gekko in the movie Wall Street says, “greed is good, greed is what made America great.”

But a community is a delicate thing. You can’t just take and take some more. A lesson I have learned at Techstrong where our audience is made up of techies (developers, DevOps teams, cyber and cloud native folks) is that you can’t be too pushy, to salesy, too one way.  You need to do things for the common good.  You have to realize that the rising tide lifts all the boats.

That means you do things without an immediate payback. Sometimes the benefit to you is a dotted line, not a solid line. You need to just let that karma wheel spin and hope it comes back to you. 

I am reminded of when I was much younger and for many businesspeople joining the rotary or the chamber of commerce or even the knights of Columbus, the Elks and all those kinds of clubs were in style.  You went to those organizations and you were immediately the prey for the lawyers, accountants and even funeral directors that were already members.  Same thing applies here.  New members shouldn’t feel like they have to run an obstacle course of existing members reaching out to offer their services.  How about just meeting new people and welcoming them into the community. Get to know them, don’t try to sell them something or use them for your own gain. 

Several people at the Gala the other night asked me “why do you think we haven’t been more successful building a community here up to this point?”  There is more than one reason for this. But one of them for sure is that we need more people who are doing this for the right reasons and the right way.

From what I have seen from Nikki Cabus, Tech Hub’s newly appointed CEO, and team lately and the broader audience the other evening, we have a good core of people who are doing this right.  We need more.

I would ask each of you reading this join the team and lets do this right


Written By: Alan Shimel, Founder & CEO @ TechStrong Group

Ask Not What South Florida Tech Hub Can Do For You