So you’ve attended one of the 500+ Startup Weekends run globally recently and wondering what next?
For some of you it will mean handing in your resignation come Monday and joining the millions of other entrepreneurs changing the world, for others you’ll be pondering what you learnt and others you’ve come and pitched your idea, but unfortunately no one liked your idea as much as others — so for now the dream has died. But there’s always next time and a new idea and you’ve surely learnt a lot.
Throughout the weekend in the short space of 54 hours you
· Learnt what a pitch was, you were given 60 seconds to outline the Who, What, Why of your product or business idea.
· Formed a team, met some cool new friends.
· Learnt the Lean Business Canvas
· Defined a problem — focusing on the 1 problem you are trying to solve.
· Learnt about Validation and ensuring you do customer research to ensure your product or business meets a real market need.
· Got together as a team and tried to design, market and develop and MVP (Minimum Viable Product).
· Came up with a revenue model.
· Presented and Pitched to judges.
You’ve also had the chance to network with mentors who have access to contacts such as investors, influencers and potential customers. You’ve also had the opportunity to get a glimpse into what life is like for a startup.
If you’ve decided that you want to continue your startup, then there are a lot of things to think about.
Here’s some quick ones to think about:
· One step at a time. Focus on solving 1 problem at a time.
· Mentors. Be mentored and spend time listening to advice as well as bouncing ideas of other people. Choose wisely.
· Validation. Continue to validate your idea through market research and customer feedback.
· Vision and purpose. Why are you doing this? Will it sustain you and are you passionate enough to continue when things get tough in 3 months, 6 months, 2 years?
· Customer segments. Who are your customers and where do they come from? Why would they buy your product or service?
· MVP (Minimum Viable Product). Focus on the 1 problem and build around that.
· Motivation and inspiration. Always look for these, you’ll need it for the long road ahead.
And my fave is advice from Amazon on how they build products:
Ben Fellows is Head of Engineering @ Teem . and a Startup Weekend attendee, mentor and advocate. He leads the development of solutions for cloud that reduce the time it takes to provision applications on cloud infrastructure and reduce complexity with cloud automation.