Year 1 of Maine Startup And Create Week, my primary volunteer commitment, was mainly about making some noise. Year 2 (2015, party picture above) brought a little more focus to the idea that this conference can help solve business challenges and generate support for Maine startups. This year, we are building all our programming around problem-solving, innovation and the kind of business growth that can have a true impact on the economy.

We have not forgotten, however, that it’s still all about that noise. That buzz.

Buzz fosters connections between people who otherwise wouldn’t talk. Connections, in turn, solve problems.

Buzz helps with audience acquisition for a business. Audiences, if handled well, become customers and mavens.

Buzz – for me, at least – seems to be the best kind of white noise. It shakes you out of your existing thought patterns and frees you up to be creative.

The best buzz isn’t digital, though. It’s in-person. The ideal room we have in mind for MSCW 2016 sessions will be 40 founders and 30 or 40 super-talented workers who haven’t yet started their own businesses, plus a few dozen passionate investors, advocates and consultants. We call it the ecosystem.

Join the party! Early summer in Maine is awesome.

Big Brain, Little Brain

The boss, an emotional guy, announces he has a stomach ulcer just a week or two before announcing the elimination of jobs. The timing is not mere coincidence. Causality, however, may flow in a different direction than we are used to thinking.

More and more literature says the gut and the central nervous system are linked in circular fashion. The gut’s nerves – all together, the size of a cat’s brain – play no small role in guiding our decisions and actions. Not only do we reach for the Mexican Wedding Cookies when we should reach for a salad, but we also steer lives and businesses by what the area below our hearts and above our hips is telling us.

My best interactions in the business world have been when I generate a sort of authenticity and insight that feels like it is emerging from the heart, a combination of head and gut, big brain and little brain. It’s the seat of growth and openness.