Two weeks ago, ten people came to Las Vegas to participate in my event, Superhuman 2. When I did the first one a year earlier I was nervous about how everyone would get along and how I would fill the time in a useful way. This year, even with a much longer format, my only real concern was whether or not the attendees would be as awesome as they were the previous year.
In particular, the first year's group was so open and supportive of each other, that I wasn't sure how possible it was to replicate that. I do everything I can to create that sort of environment, but really most of it is out of my hands. I suspect that even one person could mess up the environment if they really wanted to.
Also, this year three of the attendees were women. Last year it was all male, and I was a little bit worried that having women there might cause men to be more hesitant to be vulnerable.
As you could probably guess, all of those concerns were totally moot. Our group this year was absolutely fantastic. What was most interesting to me was that although no individual from this year reminded me at all of any one individual from last year, the groups felt very similar to me.
Along that vein, although everyone got along extremely well and bonded with each other, everyone was quite different. Everything from age, financial status, lifestyle, hobbies, career, and family ranged all over the map.
When I thought about how there could be such huge differences and still feel like a cohesive group, I realized that the one thing everyone had in common was that they were 100% genuine. When I realized this I tried to think about a single example of a time where someone didn't come off as completely genuine, and I couldn't think of a single one.
Anyway, all of that is to say that I'm very grateful to have such an amazing group join me and bring so much to the event.
Last year the two biggest pieces of feedback I got were to have more social time and to have more time to have food. I underestimated how much time things would take and ended up having to give people really short lunch breaks. This year I made the event significantly longer, incorporated a lot of breaks where people could chat, and had Chipotle brought to the event each night. One of the attendees also organized a group house for almost everyone to stay at, which people raved about so much that I plan on suggesting the same house next year.
Last year people rated the event an 8.75 on average on my survey. This year the rating was almost 9.5, and I think that the changes in the previous paragraph, including the shared house, were the primary reason for that.
Next month I'll be doing my first non-US Superhuman event. The format will be a little bit different, but I'm hoping I once again get an amazing group of genuine people. After finishing this event I'm even more excited about that one. There was so much interest in the Budapest event that I'm going to try to schedule another one for the summer some time. The next regular Vegas Superhuman event will probably be early spring next year.
If you want a heads-up on any of these events you can email me at event at tynan dot net or you can wait for the announcements (though I only post them if an event doesn't sell out with e-mail people). I suspect that it will eventually be hard to get a spot for these because I can't scale it past 10 people, and will probably only do one or two per year.
Thanks again to everyone who came to Superhuman 2, as well as those who came to #1 and helped start this whole thing.
Photo is the amazing group of attendees! You guys are awesome!
In six weeks I will be writing my blog posts for the following year. I have 18 of my own ideas plus about 25 submitted ones (which probably won't all turn into posts), so please email me and suggest ideas if there's anything you want to see written!
For years I've thought about doing a live event for my readers. It's always been on the backburner as I've thought about formats and group sizes, but my friend Leo Babauta challenged me to set a date and just do one, so I did.
Last weekend ten people came into town for a 1.5 day event. They were pretty brave, because I gave almost no information on what the event would be like, since I didn't really know when I posted it.
As the weeks passed and I thought about the event, I decided to keep it simple. We'd hang out together in a big hotel suite and I'd coach them one on one, pairing them up with someone else to act as an accountability buddy. I had done something similar via video chat for a charity a few years before and got good feedback on it.
Not having ever done an event like this, I didn't really know what to expect. Would people get along? Would we have way too much time or not enough? How many breaks should we take? What kind of person would actually show up?
I didn't know how to make soup. I knew how to open a can or say "Yes, I'd like soup with my meal" but I didn't know how to really make soup. Now I do.
Thanks to some help from my wife's uncle I made six quarts of soup. The soup is tasty but more delicious is the knowledge. I've gone from being given a fish to a fishing pole.
The steps for making the soup included chopping vegetables, something I do all the time but also included new tasks like making beans from a bag and using a ham hock for the broth. I didn't know how to do either of things. Now I do.
I love trying, making, and sometimes failing with new food and of all the new-ish foods I've cooked recently, this is the one that's been the most rewarding because it reminds me the most about writing.
I'm writing a book. It might not be any good. It might not sell any copies. It might be a waste of time and money. I'm still doing it.