Thursday, May 6, 2010

Entrepreneurs Flood San Jose for Startup Weekend

Thanks to Chapin Hansen for reporting on the Startup weekend.  Following is a copy of  his blog posting at:
Entrepreneurs Flood San Jose for Startup Weekend










Nic and I (the menuvore guys) have been working to get ourselves involved in the startup community, so we headed down to San Jose to attend 'Startup Weekend'. In short,  you pitch an idea, try to form a team and then work your ass off for 2 days in an attempt to have the product up and running by Sunday night to demo for a panel of well known startup judges. 

With that being said, here is what I learned from this event.
1) Pitch an idea - it takes you out of your comfort zone and who knows, it might be something someone else wants to be a part of. Lots of ideas were pitched, some good, some not so good. I pitched one and it didn't go anywhere, but I'm glad I threw it out there.

2) Find Fun/Competent People - You're spending 2 straight days with these people, you might as well pick a group you like. On top of that, look for people that have complimentary skills and are competent. Working with fun, smart people makes everything easier.
3) Outline/Explain the project immediately - It's important to talk about the idea because everyone needs to understand it. If a few people don't get it, the team becomes weaker. Making sure everyone understands it means that they will be able to contribute in a positive way.

4) Throw out new ideas - Especially in this 2 day adventure, throw out ideas that make the product stand out. You have 2 days, don't be conservative. Come up with ideas that are wacky and that will get people's attention. You can always change it later.

5) Everyone needs to constantly Talk - I know it's only 2 days and everyone is cranking it out, but marketers need to talk to coders/designers and vice versa. Everyone needs to moving along together or else people aren't working on the right stuff or being as helpful as they can be. When programmers finish something, marketers should test it. When marketers write something or come up with an idea, they should mention it so it can be implemented before it's too late.

Overall, it was an awesome experience and one that I would recommend to everyone who is interested in startups.  Thanks to Franck and the Startup weekend team for putting the event on. (and filling us with lots of Pizza Hut)
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I developed and presented this product at the weekend, working with Catherine on Friday and Saturday, and with help from Project Team 42, Justin and Adina on Sunday.

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