The other day I was talking to a friend who confessed to me that he feels bad that he has not really attended any meetups this year. I asked him why that was and he said he’s been too busy getting his new app ready for launch this autumn.

Hold up

Ok, I’ll say it. I love meetups. Sometimes I host meetups. I love meeting people and seeing how excited they get when they talk about their new favourite project. I love how easily geeks can connect on a rant (ARGH! The dex limit! You hate it as well? WOW!). I love to see people stepping up to present for the first time. Meetups are awesome and I often push them as an example against the stupid stereotype that software people never leave their cave.

So now that I’ve said it, you can admit it: you love meetups too! That’s ok, it’s our little secret. But now that we’ve shared in this guilty love for meetups, please repeat after me:

Meetups are not achievements. Meetups are not shipping. Meetups are not products.

In the context of your product delivery, meetups are is a tool, a means to an end. They are at best an educating and networking event and at the very least a fun social event, and those two extremes and everything in the middle is what makes them so awesome. But do not delude yourself, they are not new features, they are not something that will move your product forward, they are not the end result.

If you miss out on meetups because you’re too busy shipping, you are doing fantastic, don’t waste a single moment worrying about it. After you’ve launched, come grab a coffee and tell us all about it. Until then, keep up the rhythm and focus.