As entrepreneurs you probably stay up to date with your favorite business moguls, and odds are you can count on seeing them at the annual “Billionaire Summer Camp”. But what exactly is this summer camp? What is the point of it all? And, what can we as entrepreneurs learn from this without being in on it? Thankfully there’s a lot we can learn from what happens in these types of events for the super successful, and business reporting has made it possible to get a glimpse of what goes on inside.
The camp usually takes place in Idaho’s Sun Valley, and has been hosted by Allen & Co. bank since 1983, in efforts to be part of the huge deals being made. This year’s billionaire summer camp took place a few days ago, and news is already spreading of who was spotted. Big names like Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Bill Gates make headlines almost every year, but there’s something special about this year: it marks a shift to in person deals again! Having been cancelled due to the pandemic in 2020, these leaders have a lot of catching up to do, which usually means big deals being made.
In an NPR interview with David Gura Byline, a journalist who managed to get in on the conference, Gura highlighted how despite remote work being a necessary shift for 2020, business requires that personal aspect. Personal relationships and business alliances are mostly made in private, and that is not likely to change. For those of you who attempted virtual networking last year, I’m sure you can attest to the fact that something always felt like it was missing. Networking is essential to business, more importantly, face-to-face networking is essential, and unfortunately it was something we all missed out on due to the pandemic.
According to Gura, the camp, like any other, consists of speakers, panels, and then of course private conversations and meetings that happen off the record. Prominent politicians speak and take questions (undoubtedly about policies that could hurt big business). All week announcements are made, reflecting what we can only assume is the work of inside deals. For example, Amazon has already announced its plans to buy MGM, and Discovery made their own announcement on a big deal with AT&T. Allen & Co. essentially sets a perfect scene to make informed business decisions with leaders of almost every industry there. It’s not just about the names on the guest list, but what those guests can do together. Similarly, if you ever find yourself in an unconventional meeting or space with someone who could change your business’ trajectory, be prepared to make an informed decision! Don’t wait to be put in a luxury resort surrounded by other millionaires, remember that many of them started out just like you. Over the pandemic alone, the US is said to have gained 56 new billionaires!
In summary, what is this billionaires summer camp? It’s Allen & Co. organizing the “biggest matchmaking service for media companies,” says Steven Davidoff Solomon, the head of the Berkeley Center for Law and Business. (NPR). If you only take away one thing from the blog, let it be that entrepreneurship is a viable career path if you put your all into it. Business is a social science, it requires just as much personal effort as the product/service you’re creating. Networking, creating relationships, and ensuring you make the best decisions for your business are what make a great entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship is a viable career path regardless of your age or gender, entrepreneurs throughout history and billionaires like these have proven that if we allow ourselves to actively work on making our entrepreneurial vision happen, it can happen. If you work hard enough, you may even find yourself invited to this summer camp one day.