On December 6th, CNN visited our office in Menlo Park for a camera interview with corespondent, Laurie Segall. She’s a CNN Money reporter based in New York covering startups, innovation, VC’s and all things new and cool.
They contacted me about being featured as part of a story that will air in early January about Silicon Valley culture and navigating the waters as a successful single professional in a geek culture. They wanted me to specifically talk about any trends I am seeing in the Valley, if there has been a noticeable spike in business with all the new money pouring in post FB IPO, and how I get these geeks date ready through “Amy’s boot camp.” CNN also wanted me to host a little mixer where the guests would be comprised of high caliber single tech and entrepreneur types…those who are essentially changing the world right here in Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Cupertino, and San Jose.
It was all very last minute, so in true entrepreneurial form, I managed to get myself prepared with my interview “sound bytes”, coifed, spray tanned (lol), locate two fun outfits (a girl has to do two looks right…thanks Kate Spade), find dynamic guests who would be OK being featured on camera, and transform my office into a mixer-ready cozy den. The reporter (Laurie), producer, and cameraman were supposed to arrive at 5:00pm to interview me, followed by party guests arriving at 6:15pm to start the party on film. With holiday traffic and general 101 chaos, the CNN crew arrived an hour late. I’ve learned over the years and especially with media, you gotta roll with the punches and just “be.”
My assistant (who also took these pics!) and husband alerted those guests showing up for this little clandestine Linx soiree to come back in 45 minutes. I was so thankful to have the two of them outside helping me (especially as I was getting mic’ed and wired, as well as, really needing to channel my focus to the camera that was about to start shooting) and so appreciative that everyone was super chill and willing to come back no problem.
The interview went really well and was a standing interview compared to a more formal sit-down format. We chatted for about 15 minutes with lots of shared insights, laughs, and had a nice, easy rapport between us. She asked me a ton about the business, how I match, my success rate, the types of clients I represent, if I’ve seen a rise in business with all the money in the valley, etc.
She asked about working with these hoodie wearing nerds and how I transform them. I said “geek is the new chic” here in the valley and sometimes with even 30 minutes in “Amy’s boot camp” they are ready. It is a confidence thing. Sometimes these cerebral types are so trapped in their freakin’ head they have no idea what to say to a woman. You multiply that by woman + attractive + cool + intellectual and these guys are shakin’ in their boots at the idea of even sitting across from their date. A little time with Amy and they are ready to go!At the very end of the interview, she asked me if I am the “new millionaire matchmaker.” In other words, am I Patti 2.0? I paused and said, “I am the nice millionaire matchmaker.” And that was a wrap! All 25 guests poured in, votives in true Andersen style flickered everywhere, wine poured, jazz played, people mingled, munched on food platters I put together (thanks to Trader Joes…side note- they have great tapas cheeses, sliced meats, and so much for entertaining…love love love it), and networked. The camera got a ton of b-roll footage and also got coverage of 4 guests who wanted to have mini interviews. It was so nice to see such enthusiasm that night and holiday festivities in full swing that night!
It appears as though some possible love connections happened that night and beyond romance, a lot of guests reconnected having met prior and those who had not met one another, gained interesting new contacts in the Silicon Valley.
And to quote Ferris Bueller (which I feel is a very representative quote for Silicon Valley), “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” This story is supposed to come out the end of January 2013.