Michael Acton Smith (Mind Candy) started Silicon Drinkabout as an informal get-together of friends. When it outgrew the time he had available to spend on it, the 3beards took over. Visitors from other cities attended the Friday night event and suggested setting up similar gatherings for their local communities, under the same name. The community waxed and waned and waxed once more, fueled by love and frustration, by commitment and creativity, by luck, by limitations and by yet more love. 3beards ceased operations in pursuit of other Unicorns yet Silicon Drinkabout continues to flourish in the hands of a growing global community and supportive guidance of a global community manager.
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It’s so flippant to abbreviate such an epic journey and everyone loves a story, right? Well here is The Tale of Silicon Drinkabout…
Once upon a time in an area of London known as Old Street, a small group of friends drank together in a cosy local pub. Over pints of traditional ale they talked about their business ideas, shared each other’s struggles and celebrated each other’s successes, no matter how big or small. They enjoyed their time together and agreed to meet weekly inviting more entrepreneurial friends to join them as time went by. Slowly the group grew and the man they called Mr Moshi realised the seed he’d planted needed the right people to nurture it and help it grow.
At the same time three bearded folk from the land of Fun-and-Friendship were starting casual gatherings of their own. The problem was, when they arranged a small meeting of likeminded people with tech, design and business flare, far more people than they ever could have imagined would attend. It was then in a catalytic moment of inspiration and serendipity that Mr Moshi approached the bearded folk and Silicon Drinkabout burst into live.
The men of enviable follicle status scratched at their chinny chin chins and decided to officially call themselves 3beards and establish a limited company of the same name. However no sooner than this name was established, the passionate pioneer Ben Southworth was whisked away to champion technology and small business at a governmental level leaving him little time for the regular Silicon Drinkabout meetups and other wonderful events the 3beards had concocted. A warm hearted design driven Michael Hobson and fingers-in-all-the-PR pies, Bryce Keane were left once again to scratch their bearded face-ends and ponder the situation.
Like a fairytale beanstalk, an idea sprung up magically before them! They knew a man, on the run from the accountancy department of the cold hard hand of the petrochemical industry, who had been laying low at Silicon Drinkabout for a long time now and who best of all had a beard! Joe Scarboro happily rebranded himself a man of the startup people and balance was restored.
In the years that passed 3beards went through some highs and lows but in the main they were happy times. More visitors from far flung places took the spirit of Silicon Drinkabout back to their homelands, growing the global community into many new cities. 3beards grew too with whizz kid Kev-the-Dev and beardless wonder Vicky Hunter joining the team. The Silicon Drinkabout Summit was born during which organisers from around the world gathered together to learn, to share and be merry.
Of course every good story needs a moment of darkness, a conflict that must be overcome and by this point Silicon Drinkabout’s nemesis was creeping ever closer. The community needed buckets of time, love, energy and dedication, the level of which no beast nor man, nor beard or gentle dame could single handedly give consistently forever and ever. 3beards’ beards weren’t as long as they had been, they were tired and times were a-changing. It was with a heavy heart that they announced their company of the same name would be close and the future of Silicon Drinkabout hung in the balance.
When all seemed lost, an unexpected hero strode forth like a Knight in Shining armour except instead of armour she had a one way ticket out of an-area-of-London-known-as -Old-Street, a laptop, and plan. Vicky the beardless wonder proposed to lead Silicon Drinkabout in the direction it had been destined for all along - to be built for the community, and sustained by the community, forever and ever.
Within a year, she said, there would be a new website celebrating the global events, user profiles for all members, more cities joining every month and fun rewards for members who travelled to multiple Silicon Drinkabout cities. The Slack group would be improved so that entrepreneurs, techies and startup enthusiasts from around the world could connect and converse. A Silicon Drinkabout blog and newsletter would champion all things startup and Silicon Drinkabout Summit would reign again for the amazing organisers that make the magic happen.
And that’s it, that’s our story. Be a part of our Happily Ever After.