I was reminded of the how important socialising is in business. Having a coffee is shorthand for getting a heads up and expanding your network, informal data gathering – knowledge sharing and the like. In other not unrelated news after a lifetime of coffee drinking around the world* I qualified as a coffee barista last year. I have now made many hundreds of coffees of all types for customers at one of my locals.

*Did you know in Italy if you stand up the coffee is cheaper than if you sit down. Also my experience in Italy some of the worst coffees and some of the best. They have a coffee culture but in New Zealand and Australia we drink a lot more milk based coffees and I think our freshly roasted coffees are generally better.

Over on LinkedIn I came across an acquaintance who has also been brushing up on his coffee skills. Igor decided to have 99 coffees with friends, associates and other members of his extended network and see what happens. I liked that idea so I volunteered to make him a coffee as part of the deal. I was pencilled in for some months out but as luck would have it managed to take a short notice booking last week while visiting Auckland.

Here is what he very kindly wrote.

Behind every great community project lies the heart ❤️ and soul of someone who tirelessly binds pieces together 🔗🌍 In ☕ #43 of my hashtag99coffees, I sat down with Jason Kemp, a man who humbly refers to himself as the “glue” in collaborative projects. His contributions, especially to non-profit and public good initiatives, make him an unsung hero in our community. Jason’s involvement spans a wide array of projects.

In a wide ranging chat about many things I realised that I have been privileged to work on a large number of not for profit projects that put the community first. As the person working out the tech on those projects and many other regular projects I am often somewhat invisible. I’m just the guy out the back gluing things together. Wrangling the technology and often introducing and connecting many people and groups to one another as a bit of a side thing.

And that is ok. Being able to help others is my special sauce and I am happy to do so.

The photo on this post is of John Reynolds from about 1982. John had a diner for around 3 years then which conincided with me working on Cracuum which was the University of Auckland newspaper at the time. It was a tradition to stay up every Thursday night to complete the layout. That layout involved literally sticking stories printed on photographic paper from a typesetting machine onto paper layout sheets using wax. My other role was as advertising manager which was a way to be useful and get paid for writing arts related stories at the time.

John introduced us to barista style coffee after he had come back from New York earlier. The Diner was also one of the few places open late into the night and since we weren’t sleeping lots of coffee was welcome.

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