Even billionaires go for camps
Heard of the secretive, ultra-exclusive camp for billionaires?
But I keep seeing those iconic paparazzi-like photos of billionaires taken in some kind of “park” on my newsfeed.
Remember when they took a photo of buff Bezos?
It was a lovely one where Jeff Bezos was striding muscularly in a Patagonia vest.
Another where Mark Zuckerberg was strolling with Sheryl Sandberg, laughing.
Turns out it is the summer camp organized by Allen and Co, a boutique but incredibly affluent investment bank, specifically for billionaires.
The Sun Valley Conference, is an annual camp entirely paid for by Allen and Co and it brings together everyone you know that is prominent, rich and influential in the tech, banking, political and cultural world.
It is basically a giant networking session catered specifically for the big boys and girls.
If you never knew about it, now you know.
What really intrigues me is how it got started and that networking is very much the lifeblood of businesses, big and small.
Allen and Co started this in 1983 and naturally it probably begun with small figures.
I’m curious how they managed to finessed, invite and attract more and more bigger names till the whole event gained momentum.
The compounding effect of consistent effort and time can never be underestimated.
Now, with people like Oprah, Reid Hoffman, Bill Gates and LeBron James on their guest list, they can literally invite anyone they want.
It also shows that networking is fundamental in life, not just business.
Of course so many deals, overt or covert, can be traced back to Sun Valley, behind closed doors, where CEOs are whispering to each other over martinis during a golf game.
Allen and Co probably gets a good cut for the deals they help facilitate too, explaining why they are probably fine with footing the entire bill of the whole conference year after year.
Where else will you go to meet so many amazing characters, luminaries who probably indirectly (or directly) rule the world we live in.
Oh and I really don’t think this would have gained the momentum it has garnered if it was done virtually.
Goes to show, physical meetings and networking are here to stay.
And that is why I will be aspiring to do more great networking sessions and physical programs next year when the tide is right!
Who’s up for a simple meetup amongst founders, thinkers and friends at my office?
Would you like to attend the Sun Valley conference?
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