On the 30th of October, I joined about 50 others for the Portland Startup Weekend Pre-Party at the Green Dragon. There was a great mix of Startup Weekend Alumni and others who this was there first time hearing about the events. Ten people, including myself signed up to give quick 3 minute or less talks covering Startup Weekend itself, ways to get the most out of it, ideas that do well at the events, how to protect IP, etc. Taking one of the prizes for my talk, I thought I would share it again. So here we go:
7 Principles for getting most out of Startup Weekend and Beyond
1. Listen, really listen. We all have these scripts that start agreeing or disagreeing as soon as someone starts sharing their opinion. Try your best to listen to everyone from the context of the problem your trying to solve. Leave behind your feelings and assumptions, be present!
2. Fail Fast. Whatever theories or ideas you can test, test them immediately. Don’t waste your time wondering or arguing if your right, find out. Ask questions all the time, it doesn’t matter how many times your wrong, only how fast you get back on track.
3.Quit being a (kitty cat). It takes customers to have a business, and if you are to scared to step out of your comfort zone and ask people face to face real questions, your not ever going to have a real business. Change your thinking right now. Life isn’t going to wait for you, quit wasting time.
4. Stand up for something that matters to you. Passion is the most powerful motivator, and love conquers all. Make what your doing inspire you to take action. Passivity in life and business is like a virus and if left untreated becomes a disease.
5. Never give up, never surrender. When it gets hard, I mean really hard, because it will. That is the one guarantee we have. Know that the only thing separating you from success, is your willingness to chase it down and fight it to the finish line, don’t quit.
6. Gratitude. Understand no one or thing owes you anything. The fact your breathing is a blessing that should never be taken for granted. And it is going to take others no matter what your idea is to make it successful. Realize your potential customers don’t need you or what your offering. So you better be taking the time to truly care about them, and say thank you!
7. Have fun. Life is way to short to live unhappily. Success and happiness are not the same for everyone, so don’t search for yours trying to be like others. Do what you love, Love what you do.