Inbound 2016: Lose First, Win Later

Posted by Ryan Bell
on December 16, 2016


Ah, Inbound 2016...what a crazy whirlwind! This was my first time at a convention of this size. I knew I was excited, but I had no idea just how excited I was until I took my first steps into Club Inbound with the rest of my team. I expected fun, but I was not expecting to see a DJ spinning some pounding tunes as people danced to them. I continually asked myself, "This is a marketing conference, right? Am I in the right place?"

Over the course of this amazing week I realized that Inbound is in a category of its own when it comes to "business" conferences. My idea of Inbound has been forever changed.

All epic stories start somewhere and my epic Inbound story starts on the first day of Inbound. I had the immense privilege of hearing the charismatic Gary Vaynerchuk speak. His talk was a breath of fresh air filled with cold-hard truths. Truths I have definitely learned to appreciate.

Lose First, Win Later

One particular point that stuck with me is a theme that is apparent throughout this post: "Lose first, win later." As a developer, I plan to make this my mantra moving forward in my career. I want to put myself out there as I continue to figure things out, even if I possibly fail on the first try. Inspirational quotes aside, Day 1 of Inbound provided wonderful bonding time for the team before we jumped right into the depths of Inbound. 

Day 2- The day I witnessed the champions of Inbound deliver their phenomenal speeches. The champions I refer to are Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, co-founders of HubSpot. As if hearing them speak wasn't enough, I was privileged with the opportunity to be one of the first to enter the enormous seating area.

I was in prime position to soak in as much info as possible from two of HubSpot's pioneers. Without them, none of this would be possible: HubSpot, Inbound, partner companies, my career at Web Canopy Studio, so many things. It blows my mind! 

Figure It Out

Day 3 was a day full of sessions and ideas running through my head. The first session I'll mention is Kevin Daum's "The 12 Habits of Valuable Employees". The name of the session interested me and i couldn't resist stepping inside. It seemed geared toward CEOs looking for great employees but the session also catered to employees hoping to better themselves. I really enjoyed this session, and my main takeaway was the answer to the following question: What makes you valuable? Kevin answered, "figure it out" without burdening another person over a matter you know you can handle. Definitely a great nugget of information to go forward with.

Shape The Future

All good things/adventures must come to an end eventually. This is exactly what Day 4 of Inbound did- grant an actionable close to an amazing week. It also gave my brain a chance to relax since it was rapidly approaching information overload! The day of closure began with a keynote given by the hilarious Alec Baldwin, who showed that even he has a serious side to himself. From talking about his college career to mentioning how failure ultimately led him to be on the show "30 Rock", Alec was constantly encouraging us to aid in the shaping of the future of the Internet and how we utilize the media. "Everyone who lives on the Internet, will control the content in this world. We need a place to go for smarter, better content," and it is up to us as developers, marketers, CEOs, etc. to work together to make this happen. To be honest, hearing something so inspirational from Alec Baldwin was both surprising and refreshing.



To think that this is just barely scratching the surface of my experience at Inbound 2016. I truly wish I could talk about every single session and spotlight I went to, but I'd be well on my way to writing a book! For now, I'll leave you all with an actionable quote of my own. "Head to Inbound next year! You won't regret it!" 

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