April 2011 Archive

No Swearing on This Book Tour; There Is a Minor Coming

My first book had a rather non-traditional book tour. It was a sprawling, spazzy user-generated affair where I weedled some money out of the publishers, matched it with my own and hit the road to go visit entrepreneurs and social media enthusiasts in fifteen different cities, doing about three events per city. I picked those cities based not on anything qualatative, but based on feedback I got over social media to the question, "Where should I go?"

We did a lot of corporate events, but most of them were held in bars, drinking and talking entrepreneurship until the wee hours. Attendance ranged from thirteen people at one event to more than five hundred at another, and collectively I met thousands of entrepreneurs I may have never heard of in the Silicon Valley echochamber.

What I loved most about this tour was the other conversations that pulling like minded group of geeks together spawned. I'm most honored that the Big Omaha conference grew out of it-- and I'm happy that I'm going back to speak at that event this month. 

But return trips to Omaha and my hometown of Memphis aside, this time around book promotion is different. And that reflects not only the very different book I've written, but also how much this book-- considered a reckless gamble when I started it more than two years ago-- has changed me. 

The biggest difference: It's an entirely sober tour since I'm carrying precious baby cargo. See Lacy_2 also the lack of strappy heels and waist-hugging dresses. (Before picture to your right coming into my SF party for "Once You're Lucky"; I don't even know that I have one from this book's launch party. But trust me, that dress is now in a space bag under the bed to make room in the closet for maternity wear.)

I'm not complaining about any of those. I'm always surprised at the look of horror on someone's face when I say, "Look at me! I'm HUGE!" and the "Oh, no, no, no....you're not..." back-pedal. I know women have conditioned men NEVER to tell us we look "huge" but at least for me, that's not an insult for the next five months. I am reveling in it. I've never been more proud of how I look. 

Another big difference: People are actually paying me to show up, rather than just indulging me. Most of this "book tour" -- if you could even call it that-- are just paid speaking gigs from places as diverse as Colombus, Ohio to Lagos, Nigeria. And there's a limit on how many I can do, because unlike the last time around I have a full time job and I can only travel during the second trimester. I'm pretty much booked-solid as you can see here. But I'll likely pick up some more dates after November. 

I was deeply terrified of public speaking during my last book tour. Almost pathologically so. But as I've written before, the experience of reporting this new book, spending forty weeks in megacities, slums, villages and in more than one dicey situation has totally reshaped my relationship with fear. It's made me a zen mother-to-be, because I've seen what most pregnant women around the world go through. News flash: We have it very easy. This tour's catch-phrase should be: I'm pregnant, not disabled.

And of course, this tour is fittingly international. The most exciting destination is the one I'm going to next: Nigeria. Nigeria was on the short list of countries I didn't get to during the book's reporting that I really, really wanted to get to, so I was ecstatic when my speaking agents called with a perfectly good excuse to get on a plane and go.

It's our first family vacation, as I'm taking not only the baby but Mr. Lacy too. We're spending an extra week in Nigeria to see the country and do some reporting. If you're as fascinated as I am with this 150-million person nation that's mostly known in the West for 419 scams, stay tuned here and to TechCrunch for my thoughts and experiences. And since Mr. Lacy is coming, expect some amazing photos. 

Sarah Lacy’s entertaining and informative tour of the world’s fastest growing economies undeniably proves what we’ve known at Endeavor for more than a decade: that impressive and inspiring Entrepreneurs can truly come from anywhere! In taking us on a whirlwind journey bursting with frenetic energy – matched only by that of the amazing entrepreneurs she meets – Lacy gives us an important glimpse into the future of the global economy – a place where the craziest, high-impact entrepreneurs from anywhere and everywhere set the pace.
Brilliant. Crazy. Cocky.

New Book

An unforgettable portrait of the emerging world's entrepreneurial dynamos Brilliant, Crazy, Cocky is the story about that top 1% of people who do more to change their worlds through greed and ambition than politicians, NGOs and nonprofits ever can. This new breed of self-starter is taking local turmoil and turning it into opportunities, making millions, creating thousands of jobs and changing the face of modern entrepreneurship at the same time. To tell this story, Lacy spent forty weeks traveling through Asia, South America and Africa hunting down the most impressive up-and-comers the developed world has never heard of....yet.

Excerpt »

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Srah Lacy

Sarah Lacy is an award-winning reporter who has covered high-growth entrepreneurship for more than fifteen years. She is the founder, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of PandoDaily.com, the site-of-record for the startup ecosystem. She lives in San Francisco.

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