Thursday, April 17, 2014

Bait and Switch

A few days ago I got an email with the subject "Speaker Invitation". The organizer of a conference about start-ups and entrepreneurship was asking me if I would be interested in participating in the event. I enjoy speaking at these kinds of events - as I usually get great feedback from the participants - so I gave him a tentative yes, but asked for more details about my participation and the agenda. At this point someone else from the organization took over the conversation and suggested that I help judge a start-up competition. Looking into the details I realized though that, given the number of judges and start-ups, my contribution would be pretty minimal. The event was not going to be in San Francisco and I concluded that it would not be worthwhile for me to go to the event unless I could contribute more significantly. I told them as much at which point they apologized and said the speaking slots where all full. The whole things felt like a "bait and switch". Like a car dealership that showcases an amazing deal on the window only to tell prospective buyers that that car had been sold, but they had another one available... My message to the boys: don't engage in this kind of behavior and be on the lookout for those who try to pull a bait and switch on you.

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