LetsLunch, the service that helps you network less-awkwardly, is expanding from its comfy Silicon Valley confines and launching in New York today. We first wrote about the service here, and it’s gotten a nice niche following since then. People have scheduled more than 1,000 lunches through the service, and about 70% of the time people take time to write a testimonial of the lunch afterwards.
I respect founder Syed Shuttari’s strict adherence to his vision. A lot of people have suggested he have the “commoners” bid for lunch spots with the more well-known investors and Valley personalities on the site. Shuttari is insistant that would create the wrong vibe, and that the key is the two people meeting on an equal footing. I couldn’t agree more. I want to lunch with people who are interesting, not people who can pay the most money. That’s just weird.
I used LetsLunch once and enjoyed it. I met with a guy named Pat Kitano, who I probably never would have met otherwise. He’s a real estate consultant who’s cobbled together a fascinating local news and social media service to help real estate agents build a name in their requisite communities. I’m not sure I’d give up a lunch every week, particularly given my travel schedule, but I’d trust LetsLunch to set me up once a quarter.