My Startup Weekend experience

Startup Weekend attracts a lot of 20-35 year olds who are some combination of: aspiring entrepreneur, tech ninja, and business mogul. Everyone can pitch a 60 second idea (hint: a good business idea is a realistic solution to a measurable problem) and after the ideas are whittled down, everyone joins a team and starts working. The teams have 30ish hours to build their product, and pitch the business.

I lead the development of our team’s Minimal Viable Product (MVP) and it was my first time leading and managing a product team. I decided what platform & tech stack we would use (WordPress & mysql with Microsoft Azure for hosting) and locked in the feature list, making sure it was achievable. I also had the privilege of managing the product team, which consisted of Kyle, our designer, and Simoen, our developer. Checking in with my teammates was so similar to playing RTS video games. Constantly checking up on all your mini-bases in Starcraft was so analogous to syncing up with teammates for guidance or assigning more tasks. More than once the familiar: ‘not enough minerals’ voice popped into my head, we had a large feature list and a small timeframe.

If you haven’t worked in the startup world, Startup Weekend will be great for you. Startup weekend helps you face the unknown and make decisions. When working on a MVP remember that most smaller details don’t matter, move past the decision and work on something worthwhile.