The Fetch Blog

Curated reads and events for professionals

Three years of The Fetch: a look back with feedback from the community — April 27, 2014

Three years of The Fetch: a look back with feedback from the community

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We recently passed three years since the first humble email digest was sent in Melbourne. The Fetch was just a teeny tiny side-project then with the goal of making it easier to discover all the events happening that the rest of the event and city guides didn’t cover. Since then, we’ve been on a journey, delivering curated goodness to the community week after week – in cities all around the world. Countless hours have been put in by our community of tireless curators, including dedicating our Sundays to prepare so that we could kick off your work week with your local issue of The Fetch. We’re now starting to think about our future. It’s exciting… and scary!

Over the coming weeks, you’ll start to notice many updates to The Fetch – including a new logo, a new email design, the transition to one global newsletter of the ‘Link-love, must-reads’ section, and the launch of a new responsive landing page. From here, you’ll be able to sign-up to reserve a username for the next generation of The Fetch – an app that does a way better job of delivering you events (customized for you, less noise, and more relevancy with social and calendar integration). Most importantly, this platform will allow us to have a better foundation to sustain our activities from – we will be able to spend less time creating and editing The Fetch emails manually – and more time on quality and breadth of content.

We’ve decided that there’s no point in building this app if we don’t have the support of the community we love to serve. After all, if you don’t find it useful or actually want/need it, then perhaps it shouldn’t exist! A good way to understand this support is via crowdsourcing funds so we’ll be launching a Kickstarter campaign over the coming weeks. We hope you back us!

The map above shows a few of the 70-plus requests we’ve had to take The Fetch to more cities. The grey dots are where we’d expand to with the new platform.

In order to get a better sense of what is is about The Fetch that our community values, we’ve asked members from all walks their thoughts:

Avid reader

“I regularly recommend The Fetch to people looking to get involved in their local startup scenes — it’s quick, informative and brilliant. As a weekly reader, I’m a huge fan.”

~ Kathryn Minshew, founder & CEO, The Muse


“Since becoming the Melbourne Curator, my life has changed dramatically in a very positive way. It’s provided me with the opportunity to meet an exciting network of people across the digital/tech/ creative industries who are eager to connect, collaborate, and share knowledge. The sense of community that can be found amongst the Fetchers is unique and one that has developed in such a natural and organic way – it’s been amazing to be a part of its growth.”

~ Kat Loughrey, curator of The Fetch Melbourne

Event organizer

“The Fetch has helped me grow my community, Girl Geek Dinners Melbourne, from 300 to 850 women in one year. Most recently, we advertised Australia’s first all-female hackathon, She Hacks. An increase in traffic to our website resulted, but there were also many people who I bumped into on the street that said they saw She Hacks in The Fetch. I recommend The Fetch as the best place to find out about events for professionals.”

~ Tammy Butow, senior digital strategist, National Australia Bank

City ambassador

“The Fetch has allowed me to invest in my own growth. I have been able to forge new friendships, develop skills and pursue unexpected interests because of what it’s put in my path. As a result of the things I am aware of in my community, I have become better equipped at guiding other people towards the resources they need to fuel their own aspirations and endeavours.”

Jackie Antig, city ambassador for The Fetch

No. 1 fan

“The Fetch has opened my horizons both professionally and personally in Sydney and in places I travel to, such as Melbourne, London, and New York. It’s brilliant for making connections and putting me in the know of what’s happening in the digital and creative scene. I recommend The Fetch to nearly everyone I meet, and they love it. Since the very first issue came out, I have been a fan, the No.1 Fetch Fan in fact. It has changed and enriched my life.”

~ Mark Woodrow, founder, The Galaxy and now at Yammer

No. 1 sharer of The Fetch’s content

“I feel a bit lost when my week doesn’t start with The Fetch. I’m always on the lookout for fresh job opportunities and local events where I can learn and network, and The Fetch’s weekly email is my first port of call to find them. Even on the weeks where the jobs and events don’t suit my needs, I always know there’ll be at least a handful of fascinating articles to read and learn from. I love it.”

~ Neil Fahey, freelance writer, blogger and online comms guy

Email format lover and partner

“To feel the pulse of a city’s tech scene, I recommend subscribing to The Fetch. Regardless of whether you’re making in-roads into creative communities, or wanting to attend a web metrics meetup, each issue will have you both scrambling for your calendar and reading up on new and interesting projects. A hat tip to their team for creating such a valuable newsletter!”

~ Rosanne de Vries, Community Manager, Campaign Monitor

If you’d like to pass on any feedback about where we’re going and where we’ve come from – or to chat about sponsoring or adding to our list of Kickstarter prizes, please email me

Thanks so much and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on our changes over the coming months. 🙂

Kate Kendall

7 must-watch talks from Lean Startup Conference — December 27, 2013

7 must-watch talks from Lean Startup Conference


On Monday December 9, on one of the coldest days of the year, a thousand people came together to the Lean Startup Conference in San Francisco. I had been looking forward to this conference for a while, and despite the brisk walk up a very large hill to the Masonic Center, was delighted to meet and learn from some of the best practitioners of the Lean Startup movement.

This year’s conference displayed the breadth of just how much “Lean” has grown. From its roots in engineering and startup culture, the Lean Startup movement has sparked a passionate and often very visible community interested in using lean startup principles. Conference attendees and speakers this year hailed from diverse industries and backgrounds, ranging not just from startups and traditional tech, but also healthcare, government, manufacturing, large industry, and especially notable this year – social impact organizations.

Eric Ries kicked off the conference with a status check on the Lean Startup community. “What are the new things we’ve learned in the last year? Or since the books came out? If we’re not learning, we’re wasting time.”

“A startup is not a product, it’s a human institution developing something under conditions of great uncertainty.” Eric further noted.

We certainly live in interesting and uncertain times. For all its merits as a new management theory, Lean Startup has the fervor of a social moment. There were so many great moments to the conference, here are my top 7 highlights for every entrepreneur (or for everyone for that matter).

1. Learning to Be an Organization that Pivots

ElectNext’s Keya Dannenbaum gives a very wise and informed talk on how entrepreneurs should recognize that passion is fleeting, but dedicated practice leads to success.

“Whereas passion crashes & burns, practice sets up on the path for steady progress” @keyajay @ElectNext #LeanStartup
— Jin Zhou (@soulcandies) December 10, 2013

Video of the presentation:

2. Frame Before You Build, Measure, Learn

Zach Nies of Rally Software spoke on the importance of framing before taking up the central Lean Startup conceptual loop of build-measure-learn. You’ll need to frame the problem by using empathy and insight documentation, and how hindsight bias eliminates surprises. Consider this a ten minute crash course on the design thinking approach in conjunction to lean.

“Learning lives at the intersection of what we expect to happen and what actually happened.” @zachnies @RallySoftware #LeanStartup 
— The Lean Startup (@leanstartup) December 10, 2013

Video of the presentation:

3. Using Kickstarter to Run an MVP

“Screw investment banking, screw consulting. Full time mushroom farming for us!” Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora on how they raised $250K on Kickstarter for their MVP product. I loved these guys. A crowd favorite.

Lean viable “mushroom kit” & #aquaponics. @nikhilarora @VelezAlejandro @bttrventures #LeanStartup on #kickstarter 
— Jin Zhou (@soulcandies) December 10, 2013

4. The Medium Is the Message

Patrick Vlaskovits, author of The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development and an old friend in the Lean Startup Movement, describes how it is not enough to have an innovative product, but also to have an innovative medium. He goes on to talk about TupperWare parties as being the “original growth hack”.

Innovative products don’t fit into existing distribution channels, they demand new ones. @pv with one of the best talks at #leanstartup — christiegeorge (@christiegeorge) December 10, 2013

Video of the presentation:

5. Risk, Information, Time and Money

Dan Milstein of Hut 8 Labs talks about how you should be really terrified of working on the wrong thing. How do you use your time wisely and tackle your riskiest assumptions?

You only get information when there is uncertainty and risk. If you’re not surprised, it’s not useful. @danmil #leanstartup
— Davender Gupta (@coachdavender) December 9, 2013

Video of presentation:

6. Acquiring Your First Users Out of Thin Air

The Muse’s very own Kathryn Minshew dishes out how the “build it and they will come” concept is a horrible idea. She further goes into five zero-cost strategies for customer acquisition.

Video of presentation:

7. Evidence-based Entrepreneurship

The godfather of Customer Development Steve Blank speaks on the difference between large companies and startups, bringing lean startup methods to the National Science Foundation, and the Lean LaunchPad Educators Summit.

Video of presentation:

And there we have it. I’ll end with one of my favorite quotes from the conference. Hope to see you there next year!

“The work you’re doing is too critical for you not to choose the riskiest and ultimately most profound path.” @akashtrivedi @kiva #LeanStartup
— The Lean Startup (@leanstartup) December 10, 2013

About our Ambassador // When not reporting for the Fetch, Jin Zhou is an avid bookworm and tea drinker, exploring the cross sections of technology, psychology, human potential, wellness and compassion. She has previously led marketing at several startups, including The Alchemist Series, VanceInfo and EventBacker. Follow her on Twitter @soulcandies.

Image credit: Lean Startup Conference 2013