I found this event particuarlily reaffirming to some beliefs I’ve had about startups.
Top 5 things I learned or had re-affirmed at Startup weekend in Seattle.
- The power of numbers: For me, working with other people is absolutely essential to productivity, getting things done, and feeling good about what I’m doing. Having someone to celebrate successes both big (winning the popular vote at the climax of the event) and small (getting pictures to download into your WebOS application) is invaluable and rewarding. It’s pretty simple, the more people you’re working with, the more successes you share, and the more people you have to celebrate with.
- The power of working together face to face in the same room: For somer reason, I feel more accountable when you work together in the same room. Maybe it’s just harder to let someone down when you have to look them in they eye, but when you work in such tight quarters I feel much more compelled to impress people and NOT let them down. It goes without saying that communications is much easier in these conditions as well. Impromptu product discussions were held quickly and efficiently in person instead of scheduling awkward skype sessions or long email threads.
- The power of competition: I’m incredibly motivated by competition. Competing against other teams seems like the obvious outlet for this, but given that our team was more than 3 people, I actually was able to have somewhat of a healthy competition amongst other team members.
- The power of a simple value proposition: Our value proposition was simple. “Help you remember the names of people you bump into at events” and our elevator pitch didn’t require an 80 story high rise to give. Having a clear compelling value proposition really dictates the technology and that’s the way it should be. It’s easy as a technologist to lead with the technology and allow everything to flow from that.
- I really suck at public speaking: Seriously … I’m terrible. I’ve always known that I have a Charlie Brown like mumbley voice, but watching the video of our demo is painful. I seriously need some lessons on presenting.