What I learned on a Startup Weekend

As many other participants, I have ideas that I want to try out and I’m looking for people to team up, as well as make business out of these ideas. Found at least one startup in two years is among my personal goals.

If I have one regret is to don’t join startup events previously. Simple! The people I met, the conversations, the energy, the volume of pivots and prototypes, the lessons we learn. So many real experiences during 54 hours. Below, the main lessons I learned participating on Startup Weekend Bern.

My team testing hypothesis at Startup Weekend Bern

Team up is critical

You may have the best idea, find the biggest potential market, the best opportunities, but…with no team, no work happens bitch!

Startup events are great occasions to meet potential partners and people to team up.

Go out there and validate

We have that idea that we find so awesome, assuming it is the solution for a problem/customer segment, until we hear from the real customers the most awkward reactions “Do I really need this shit?”

It’s validating outside that we know what the potential customers want and if they are willing to pay for our idea. Every startup is an experiment to achieve a validated learning, as well said by Eric Ries in the book The Lean Startup.

It didn’t work. Ok, how do we make it work? How to pivot the initial idea? Easy to say, hard to kill our darlings. No client, no business baby!

We always learn

Didn’t that initial awesome and crazy idea work? OK, what can we learn from it? Why everything turned out to happen on a different way than expected? What were the feedbacks? What strategies worked? What ideas were just crazy?

Not all cultures are open for risk-taking and talk about failures. And one thing the startup universe teaches is that all starts with a first step. We never start perfect!

Business model

Deliver value, costs structure, revenue strategies, customer segment, market, etc. It all comes from a business model. If we don’t know who is the customer and where is the market, we don’t know how to design the best solutions.

Timing

We can do a lot in 2 days! Imagine how much we can do in 6 months, in 1 year, in 2 years. The only certainty is: startup journey is a rollercoaster!

We don’t have answers for everything

We don’t have and we don’t need answers for everything. If you have answers for everything, you can find excuses for everything. Did you get the point?

Find someone to help you

Having a mentor or a coach makes a big difference when developing a business model, define assumptions and hypothesis about market, designing offers for potential customers and all the details of a business environment.

A help from someone who knows the market and has founded enterprises opens ours horizons for new perspectives and the lack of consistency on our business models.

If you have idea and look for a jumpstart, don’t waste time to find the closest startup events near you! Go out there and join it!