Almost a year ago I had a New Year party with my friend and a bundle of random people occasionally happened to be her friends.
We took too much alcohol that time, but a few months later I got a call from one of the guys from that party who wanted to engage himself in a start-up like software project. Now I am consulting him on processes, on software development in general, on staff he probably needs to hire, on communication practices between customer and vendor and many other things.
Right now it is not a billable activity for me, but anyway, it is interesting and beneficial for both of us. He gets valuable professional advice for a cost of having lunch for two and I get a great listener and nice real-world questions to speak about 🙂 I was even offered a job there for quite a good money, but my priorities are a bit different, so I was not ready to drop a job at Yandex.
The bottom line is simple. Go to parties, especially if you’re invited. Don’t miss them.