When Eric Lagier attended Startup Weekend Copenhagen in April 2010 the idea, as he says, “was to invest one minute of my life pitching this simple idea and see what happened.” Call it serendipity, call it fate, but what ended up happening was Lagier found two people, Harry Vangberg and Nikolaj Nielsen, who helped him create a rock-solid team that went on to create Memolane, a startup that is still going strong eight months later. Looking back on that weekend, Lagier believes that “the team is the key to success, so invest all your time in finding the right co-founders and team members.”
Since the April 2010 Startup Weekend Memolane has enjoyed many successes, including raising $2 million in funding and relocating part of the team to the Bay Area, California. Yet Lagier is adamant that the foundation of Memolane’s success is the team, which includes the three co-founders, designer Aubrey Johnson, front-end engineer Cody Lindley, and community manager Meghan Krane. Lagier explains, “You may have a great idea, but with a lousy team, you won’t get there. If you have a great team, even a bad idea might eventually turn into something great!”
Focus on Talent, Trust, and Empowerment
The current Memolane team could not operate without a high level of trust and an emphasis on mutual empowerment and motivation. Currently, the team is quite geographically dispersed, which was a strategic decision on the part of Lagier, Vangberg, and Nielsen. Lagier states that, “it was a priority to get the best and brightest. They key to success is to have a team that shares the same passion for the product as you. I have been fortunate to engage and excite some of the best developers around.”
In order to capitalize on a team environment where trust and respect encourage risk taking and constructive feedback, an environment that Lagier says encourages the Memolane group to “continue to push the bar very high,” the team will continue to stay lean with a “flat organization that empowers us all to take responsibility and do our best.”
Because at the end of the day, it’s not current or future investments, outside advice, or awards that will ultimately decide Memolane’s success. From CEO to newest hire, each employee is a rock star. As Lagier explains, “we are a small team, it’s essential that all team members actively engage in the entire process from product scoping, to design and development. This is how we continue to push the bar higher.”
For More on Memolane…
Interested in learning more? For further inspiration, please read Lagier’s blog post. Memolane is currently invite-only, Startup Weekend alumni and friends can use the invite code “startupweekend” to create public Memolanes. We can’t wait to share your Startup Weekend stories!
If you are a key member of a team or startup that began at a Startup Weekend and believe that you have a compelling story, let us know! Email success@startupweekend with your name, the name of the Startup, and the Startup Weekend event where you began.