Starting “Open Office Hours” to Connect Better

In business by Michael Michelini3 Comments

As I have been working on my latest venture, Social Agent, one huge difference from previous was the mentorship and feedback I have gotten along the way. From Shanghai to Shenzhen, to Hong Kong then Dalian, Beijing, back to Shanghai. Phone calls, mentor meetings, focus groups. My brain is on overload.

An awesome person I have been able to connect with is Kevin Dewalt, a lean startup advocate and overall genuinely nice guy! First met him at the Lean Startup Machine in June, 2012 in Shanghai – listening to him speak on Saturday morning about use cases of the lean startup model.

He is all about talking to 100 potential customers before launching a product. He is very systematic about it, and I have a lot to learn, and I’m trying my best.

A couple Fridays ago we had a rather extensive phone call, and he explained open office hours to me. Such a simple idea, yet crazy effective for me so far. I’m always talking to people about doing a phone call, and the back-and-forth never ends about which timezone are you on, what time is the best for you, etc.

Open office hours I just setup a page consulting yesterday and have already gotten a few people to use it. Saved tons of time, and also engaged with more people.

Here is an example from Kevin’s blog – Startup Help from Kevin and he is both helping his blog readers while also learning and engaging with them closer. Win-win to me.

The key to “lean startup” is to validate your business idea, listening to customers, and building something that they want and need.

I’m really excited to know Kevin, you can book some “startup help” from him, or if you’d like to chat to me about China business, market entry, I’d love to talk to you!

Book a slot of Mike’s Office Hours

Learn, share, grow.

Update April 1, 2013

I just had a great call with Kevin and he has online, I’ll be from now on using for this service.

Below is the old page for my own records:

Looking to chat with me about business in China, e-commerce, internet marketing? In an effort to better schedule times with blog readers, (+ taking advice from Kevin Dewalt *) I have setup “Open Office Hours” which lets people book an appointment with me below (via Google Calendar) for either for a 30 minute phone call or coffee meetup.

How to Schedule 30 Mins of China Business Help

It only takes 30 seconds. Just click on an option below and select a free slot in my calendar.

I am now using Kevin Dewalt’s startup solution – to book meetings and calls!

Location: Normally in Starbucks Coastal City, Nanshan District, Shenzhen, China But as I travel, I will indicate the location I can meet (Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, USA, etc) so check the location before booking please!

You can also try emailing me at site @ Like you, I get a lot of email but will try to respond if I can.

* I set this up via Kevin Dewalt’s site – 5 minute guide to creating open office hours

Testimonials from Callers

Great insights about lean startup and how your company practices those principles! It helped me gained a much better understanding of LS. All the best for your lean-startup

– Lee Lixuan, student

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  1. 哪里哪里。-)You’re one of the most helpful people I’ve met, Mike, and much of what I’ve been doing was inspired by our early conversations and your advice.

    1. (email reply on the go here…. )I am honored to hear that Kevin…..this makes it all worthwhile. hearing things like that.

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