Last night, we hosted a small dinner in New York for the first in what we hope to be a series of many salon dinners throughout the United States. We gathered a small group of 12 individuals, each accomplished in their own right – colleagues, former classmates, business partners, friends, and overall people that have inspired us in some way.
The evening was filled with provocative discussion, led by Maneesh and David, about what it means to live a life in the grey.
Here are a few standout thoughts from the evening:
“Business is no longer black and white. Business is now defined by an array of colorful, diverse people– people that have a passion for what they do. With Live in the Grey, maybe there’s a way we can change the American workforce. We’re trying to empower and inspire the next generation of individuals to understand that when you get up and go to work, you’re not leaving a part of yourself behind. For some, a part of your professional success is defined by leadership at your company, but when you live in the grey your success becomes defined by the people you collaborate with. How much more amazing could the world, your business, and your life be if you found that team of people that follow their passions?” – Maneesh K. Goyal
“The idea of living in the grey is not necessarily about turning everyone into an entrepreneur. The idea of making your colleagues your friends and your friends your colleagues resonates with me, especially because entrepreneurship is, in part, about making your work your whole life. However, starting your own business is really fu*king hard! And if someone were to ask me where I have gotten the most personal satisfaction in life, the answer wouldn’t be from starting my own business. I guess I would consider myself lucky enough to be able to live and breathe music, and create new experiences.” – Dan Zaccagnino, Co-Founder, Indaba Music
“There are three attributes that I wouldn’t necessarily call flattering but have sometimes used to describe myself– they are selfishness, impracticality, and hubris. And I believe it takes a certain amount of audacity to truly believe that you can change something and believe the uphill effort will be worthwhile. While they may have negative connotations, in many ways these attributes are all required to truly live in the grey.” – Keya J. Dannenbaum, Founder + CEO, ElectNext
Top: Maneesh welcomes guests to his home. Bottom: Our Philosophy hangs on each side of the liquor cabinet.
“We’ve been doing a lot of studying and have come to the understanding that there are two core failures in education today and they are: self-discovery and the ability to take action. Those are the two, number one, attributes we look for in new candidates. And I think the idea of living in the grey is so provocative because according to a recent study, 85% of millennials list meaning as the number one most important thing when looking for work, ahead of compensation. And this only serves as an example of our shifting mindsets about what’s important and what’s valuable in life.” – Neil Blumenthal, Co-founder, Warby Parker
“You need to ask yourself, When was the last time you felt truly alive? That kind of introspection is necessary in order to truly move towards a life of meaning and purpose. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you work with people following their passion.” – Michael Marantz, Filmmaker/Principal, Already Alive
“Just talking about how technology connects us is not enough. Technology connects us, but beyond that it enables us to collaborate and learn and create something meaningful together. It inspires us to take meaningful action in a way that’s never existed before. The most profound thing about live in the grey is that it gives people the opportunity to live a life they will become fulfilled by. In some ways, we have kind of failed at searching for meaning. The most compelling thing about live in the grey is that it aims to solve this by connecting the gap between aspiration and reality.” – Toby Daniels, Co-Founder and CEO, Crowdcentric, + Founder, Social Media Week.