Do startup weekends actually help build great companies?

June 22, 2017 - Reading Time: 2 minutes, 29 seconds

This is Aimed at tech peeps; If your not tech, learn to code or launch a company with a friend that codes.

So, this is going to be short.

There are heaps of startup weekends going around like every 2nd month.

I'm tempted to have one for "innovating the maintenance of my yard" - thats a joke.

But seriously, to the point.

If you want to start a startup, you don't need to go to every startup weekend to learn how to do it.

  1. http://playbook.samaltman.com/ - read all of that, twice.
  2. https://www.startupschool.org/ - watch all of them from bottom to top, twice.
  3. Then watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVzKw2buUyw at least 3 times.
  4. Go talk to your customers/people. They will tell you what problems they have.
  5. Then Build, then launch. ( fast ).
  6. If you have a question, talk to your customer.
  7. If you have problem and google isn't helping - Find someone on Twitter that is an expert and tweet them.

Now I don't want to sound like a hater of startup weekends. They have great value. But they are turning pitching/talking to early stage customers and showing them your pitch slide/prototype/idea a short-sighted competition. The real goal should be to create something people want and turn it into a real company that profits - this takes years. Granted, There are companies born out of startup weekends as seen from - https://techcrunch.com/2009/04/29/analysis-how-far-do-projects-launched-at-startup-weekends-travel-not-very-far/ . But they are a small number compared to the "companies" competing in startup weekends.

I simply find that people at startup weekends are kinda like the startups that are at startup conferences. Not building their company, but just playing startup.

But Its hard to talk to people? or to find what to build? or to learn how to code? or to ship fast? or to show people my baby? or to be told your product is shit? or your idea is shit? I know, building a company is not easy. Learn to hustle, it's not taught, its learned over time - so start talking to your customers for longer than 3 days and start building shit that solves the problems they have. Learn to fail fast.

TLDR:

  • Force yourself to talk to people and understand their problem.
  • Watch them and how they currently solve the problem your solving.
  • Understand the problem 100% before replacing it with tech.
  • Build and ship fast and then start at the top of the TDLR list again.
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVzKw2buUyw

Rational: Customers/People pay you for a service you create to solve a problem they have. Assumptions kill startups like crazy. You don't know what your customer's problems are unless you yourself have that problem. So talk to them. They will give you the treasure map.

God speed.