Bookup №10 was on Asimov’s “The Last Answer”. We had just the perfect number of participants, and one recurring — which talks a lot about that customer retention✌🏽.
Both Radu & I agreed that it was in the Top 5 bookups we’ve had in Bucharest so far. Here are some ideas to pique your curiosity:
Eternity — why do we desire it? What would we do with it? Why is it etched into the human psyche? Is it because life is the only state we know and want to hold on to it? Is it because we fear the unknown? Should we ever attain it, would we wish to get our mortality back?
Knowledge — why do we seek it? What keeps us pushing forward, seeking answers, trying to make sense of our life and reality? None of it will matter once we are dead anyway. Unless, of course, we are a vessel of information like Murray Templeton in our story here… I personally reject the explanation that we seek knowledge for our own comfort, or the comfort of our species. The stubbornness and obsession with which some of us seek it are indication that there might be more lying beneath the surface;
Consciousness — what is it and how can we start defining it? Can it exist outside it’s physical repository, the brain? What is its role and purpose?
One bookup is by no means sufficient to exhaust the meanings of Asimov’s story, and I am certain that each group of people would come up with new questions and different answers.
Snag 1: International Bookups
Back to our international bookups: the latest one was in Utrecht (NL) last week, and we have one planned for Edinburgh (UK) at the end of this week. The biggest challenge we’ve had to face? The lack of feedback. It’s a snag I never would have predicted, confident that “westerners” would be more engaged. But every problem has a least one solution, so we figured out how to go about international bookups more productively ✌🏽.
I am not one to be easily discouraged, but after four international bookups with no feedback I feel some frustration looming in the back of my mind. Not to mention those nagging questions that keep me awake: Am I crazy to be doing this? Was I naive or crazy, or both, to believe such a thing would work? Am I doing it right? Why am I doing this?
And then I remember that I NEED to be doing this, because it is such a cool thing and because Bookups reunites what is best in our humanity: ideas, reasoning, knowledge, human connection.
Snag 2: Copycats & Clones
I was shocked to learn that almost every startup has at least one clone or copycat out there. And guess what? So do we 😁. I was not happy about it at first, but I am now. Because it means we are good, and we are onto something!
I mentioned in an earlier post that there was three of us at the beginning. For reasons I will not get into, one colleague chose to leave us and start a Bookups of his own — name, idea, motto & all. In my naivety as a startup novice, I thought this copycat behaviour would cease after a few months, and he would eventually tap into his own ideas and creativity.
I was wrong. When we pivoted from books to ideas, he followed suit. When we enunciated our values on the Bookups website, he copy-pasted. It is somewhat fun and interesting to watch. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. What worries me, however, is the low quality of the imitation and the resulting product which people might unknowingly associate with the original Bookups. But we will surpass that in due course 😎.