[Reblog from Peter Harris, Innovation Facilitator at ]
Build a business in 48 hours! This is a catch cry of Startup Weekend but my experience as a participant and organiser of Startup Weekends is that for almost all participants its a lie.
But isn't Startup weekend all about starting with an idea on Friday night, forming teams and pitching a validated (and maybe even operating) business on the Sunday night? Yep that's what happens but the reason the catch cry is a lie is because...
- You don't necessarily build YOUR business. People often think they need to come along with an idea and that they'll have other people help them work on it for the weekend. This does happen but there are always LOTS more ideas pitched than there are teams formed so its very likely that you'll work on someone elses idea.
- You haven't built a business, you've prototyped one. If you could build a sustainable business in a weekend EVERYONE would be doing it "I went fishing this weekend what did you do?" "Yeah I built a business"
- The team is temporary. Throwing some people together on Friday night and getting them working incredibly hard for the weekend is a buzz - there are tensions and triumphs. But is this group likely to have exactly the right mix of skills, aspirations, and time to make a great business idea real? The odds are slim.
So why still go if the catch cry is a lie? Because whether you work on your idea or not, whether your idea goes on to become a real business or not, or whether your team stays together or not - you WILL learn invaluable lessons.
Invaluable lessons about....
- Tools that will help you work on your next idea (or help someone else with theirs)
- How much can be achieved over two days when you focus
- The community of positive people all around you who are as intrigued by making a difference via business as you are - and who you can call on in future
Businesses do get built out of Startup weekend but for most people, they go back to their day jobs with new inspiration and confidence to take their next entrepreneurial steps. That's why you should go!
See you there.