Don't be afraid to ask for help

by Kishore Hari, Down to a Science, San Francisco, CA

It was less than a year into starting my café.  It had grown so popular that I moved to a Nightclub on an off night – one that could handle hundreds of people. I was coming off my biggest event with over 250 people....and now had a famous scientist participating for the first time ever.

I showed up an hour early – but there was a problem. The club was locked and not an employee in sight. 10 minutes until café start – still no one from the club’s staff, but there were now 100 people in front of the facility. At this point, it started to drizzle – an ominous sign. I quickly turned to the crowd and told them we needed a location.

A couple guys took off down the street – returning a few minutes later saying they found a place a block away that was pretty empty. Fast forward 15 minutes – an unsuspecting hole-in the wall restaurant was packed to the gills with 100 people learning about the Vioxx tragedy. It was a shining example of the crowd taking ownership of the cafe. I learned that when people want to talk with a scientist, they REALLY want to talk with a scientist.

Lesson learned: Don't shy away from asking for help from your audience.