I talk about maximizing serendipity a lot. Quite often as a self reminder to keep an open mind. And because I do, serendipity often finds me.
It’s an awesome experience and I wanted to share it with you, perhaps as a gentle push to do it yourself. Or if you have, then you can smile back at my memories.
I recently met Eugene Solomonik. But I didn’t meet him just once. I met him many times in the span of one week. Crazy right? No, not so crazy, and definitely serendipity.
I spend a lot of time at Coffee Society. I usually stumble in with my portable office (my bags), my glasses crooked and hair a little tousled from a long day of work. I settle in, put in my headphones and chill out. But first, I check in to Gowalla. Gowalla then tweets out my checkin (because I love to share oh-so-much).
This is how I first met Eugene. We were following each other on Twitter (probably due to similar interests), he saw that I checked in at Coffee Society, then realized he had seen me there before. We DM’d a couple times saying how cool it was to make that connection, and left it at that.
I also spend a lot of time on the SF Reddit thread. A lot. I saw noticed a guy’s email signature on one of the emails. It said “Zanker Road”, so I messaged him and invited him to lunch (I work on Zanker). Eugene messaged me back, “Wow, serendipity really does follow you around, doesn’t it?”
I then realized it was the same Eugene from Coffee Society and Twitter.
And then we realized we both went to Monta Vista High (3 years apart).
Both random? Yes. But serendipitous? Even more.
What’s more awesome is the amount of additional serendipitous events that can occur from continuing this process of maximizing serendipity.
There are, of course, apps that help you specifically maximize serendipity in certain areas of life. Most of them are to help with that whole “being single” issue. Apps like Assisted Serendipity made by Lenny Rachitsky (now of LocalMind, recently funded by Year One Labs in Montreal) help you maximize the serendipitous occurrences of a night to help you get laid. Or married, whichever you prefer.
Would events like this have happened if location based applications didn’t exist? Maybe. After all, we did have many similar stomping grounds. But having these apps made it that much easier for me to connect with people who span a variety of my interests. And who knows what events will occur as the result of these new relationships I’ve formed.
If this isn’t enough proof that maximizing serendipity in your life is worth the effort, then I don’t know what is.
Till next time, keep smiling.