“Focusing on my startup idea for 54 hours consecutively let me look at the problem from so many different angles and allowed for constant pivoting – I discovered a completely unexpected answer that changed the whole product design.”
Last year, Henk-Willem Beks, a self-described “regular guy with an idea that nine times out of ten just never came to reality,” dreamed of working with his real passion, idea development, rather than in law or banking – his most recent professional focuses. Unable to ignore his entrepreneurial dream, Henk-Willem had an idea for a long-term relationship management app that he was working on 5 or so hours a week.
When Henk-Willem’s friend and Startup Weekend Amsterdam Organizer Nick Stevens encouraged Henk-Willem to attend Startup Weekend, he had reservations. He says, “It was just an app. My friends didn’t understand why I didn’t just build it, invest some money and see what happened.”
Despite his doubts, Henk-Willem decided to go to Startup Weekend. Once he got to the event and started talking to the other attendees, he realized that Startup Weekend was about “more than just building an app. It was immersion in a world of startups.”
Henk-Willem’s pitch for GoddessAlert received the 2nd most votes out of 75 total pitches; “Getting so many votes was great validation, GoddessAlert was no longer just an idea in my head!”
Now it was time to form a team that could bring the idea to reality. Henk-Willem says, “Nick told me that I must have a designer on my team and he was right. Until Startup Weekend I had no idea of the true value of a designer.”
With Dennis Ikink onboard as a designer and a well-rounded team of eight, the GoddessAlert team hit the ground running Saturday morning. Henk-Willem was blown away by how much work was accomplished in such a short amount of time. He says, “Learning what people’s strengths are, knowing how to utilize people’s talents, and working with such dedicated and hardworking people, it’s amazing how much you can get done.”
Because of the collective creativity and output and diverse perspectives, Henk-Willem was able to tackle problems that had stumped him in the past. For example, he was able to come up with a solution for gamifying GoddessAlert, which he believes has been instrumental in the app’s post-Startup Weekend success.
The GoddessAlert team won first place at Startup Weekend Amsterdam and today Henk-Willem, Nick and Dennis are still hard at work on the application. GoddessAlert was #19 in the top 100 paid apps in the Dutch App Store, #2 in the Lifestyle category.
GoddessAlert is an interactive application for iPhone and iPad that helps men be more attentive to the women (goddesses) in their lives. The application features personalized coaching and helps long-term relationships stay strong. Learn more at goddessalert.com. The app is also available in the US and UK App Stores .