Startup Weekend: How to Take a Company From Concept to Creation in 54 Hours
Startup Weekend—the organization behind 54-hour events where developers, designers, marketers, and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and create startups—has spawned both a global initiative in entrepreneurship as well as numerous successful startups. Startup Weekend, the book, contains best practices, lessons learned, and empowering examples derived from the organization's experiences for individuals and small organizations to follow as they launch businesses. Each of the key beliefs outlined has been tested by Startup Weekend and has yielded powerful results.
The principles described in each chapter will give any business idea a greater chance for success.
- Chapter topics include trust and empowerment, flexible organizational structures, the power of experiential education, action-based networking, and much more
- Describes consequences for startup development as entrepreneurs and founders begin doing much more, even faster
- Profiles successful Startup Weekend companies, including two powerful examples: Memolane, an application that captures a user's online life in one timeline making it easy for users to travel back in time and relive memories; and Foodspotting, a mobile and desktop app that allows users to find and share the foods they love
Apply these simple actionable principles to launch your own startup revolution.
Introduction: Why Starting Up Is All about Trust and Empowerment 1
Marc Nager and Clint Nelsen 3
How Trust Led Us to the Greatest Adventure of Our Lives 7
Franck Nouyrigat 9
How We Empower People to Get the Most Out of Startup Weekend 13
Why You Have to Have Trust to Be a Successful Entrepreneur 15
1. No Talk, All Action: Action-Based Networking 21
You Must Join a Team 26
Breaking Down Barriers 31
Taking Advantage of High-Energy, Low-Risk Settings 34
Get Out of Your Bubble 38
If Not an Actual Startup, at Least Always Build Relationships 43
Diversity of Backgrounds Is Key 45
How Do You Keep the Momentum Going? 47
2. Good Ideas Need Great Teams: Pitch for Talent Not for Funding 51
The Magic of 60 Seconds 54
Deliver a Solution with One Sentence 57
Build a Team 60
What You Need—Talent and Energy 61
3. Experiential Education: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone While Working Together as a Team 67
The Importance of Context, Deadlines, and Instant Feedback 71
So You Have a Viable Idea—Now What? 77
Learning by Doing 79
Risk Mitigation 81
Allocating Tasks 83
Recognizing Failure 86
The Three Main Criteria 90
4. The Startup Business Model: Adapt, Stay Lean, and Reiterate 95
The Customer Development Revolution 102
Getting Lean, Staying Agile, Preparing to Pivot 107
Communication Is Key 112
Stick with the Basics 115
The Missing Pieces of the Entrepreneur’s Curriculum 118
5. Mapping the Startup Ecosystem and Subversive Reconstruction 121
The Entrepreneurship Leap 124
The Cofounder Leap 126
The Startup Leap 130
The Funded Leap 133
The Scaling Leap 135
External Growth Leap 136
Leaping More Often 137
The Future of Startup Weekend 140
The Startup Foundation 141
Viva la Revolution 145
The Entrepreneur Culture 149
Your Next Iteration 150
Further Readings 153
MARC NAGER, CLINT NELSEN, and FRANCK NOUYRIGAT are the Co-Directors of Startup Weekend, a nonprofit with the mission to educate entrepreneurs, strengthen communities, and launch startups.?Startup Weekend holds weekend events where developers, designers, marketers, productmanagers, and startup enthusiasts cometogether to share ideas, form teams, buildproducts, and create startups in 54 hours.Startup Weekend began in June 2007, and the core team has grown to nine full-time and three part-time employees, along with a network of more than 120 Startup Weekend volunteer facilitators and organizers who plan and lead?Startup Weekend events around the world. For more information, please visit www.startupweekend.org.
How to Take a Company From Concept to Creation in 54 Hours
Startup Weekend™—the organization behind 54-hour events where developers, designers, marketers, and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and create startups—has spawned both a global initiative in entrepreneurship as well as numerous successful startups. It quickly became a nexus for early stage startup activity in communities across the globe and by the end of 2010, Startup Weekend had built a network of over 25,000 alumni, 150 volunteer organizers and 60 trained facilitators spread across more than 100 cities in 30 countries.
Now, the organization’s co-founders, Marc Nager, Clint Nelsen and Franck Nouyrigat are sharing its best practices, lessons learned, and empowering examples in their new book Startup Weekend: How to Take a Company From Concept to Creation in 54 Hours (Wiley; Hardcover and e-book; November 2011; $24.95; 978-1-118-10509-2). From a reliance on trust to an aversion to unwieldy structure, each of the key beliefs outlined in the book have been tested by Startup Weekend and yielded powerful results.
“Our goal is to take readers through the actual experience of Startup Weekend,” says Nager. “What it’s like to pitch your business idea to 200 strangers in 60 seconds; how teams struggle when they discover that other people have had similar ideas; what it’s like to see how well someone works and how much they know within hours of meeting him or her; and what it’s like to meet some of the most experienced and successful mentors in the startup world.”
Derived from the organization's experiences, the book is intended for individuals and small organizations to follow as they prepared to launch new businesses from the ground up. Startup Weekend touches on:
- Consequences for startup development as entrepreneurs and founders begin doing much more, even faster
- The Startup business model: Listen, adapt, and stay lean
- Recruiting talent
- The startup business model and ecosystem
- Profiles of successful Startup Weekend companies, including two powerful examples: Memolane, an application that captures a user's online life in one timeline making it easy for users to travel back in time and relive memories; and Foodspotting, a mobile and desktop app that allows users to find and share the foods they love
It can be scary trying to be an entrepreneur, but Startup Weekend’s philosophy is all about building trust in a community in order to can create the newest, greatest and most innovative business imaginable.
“Entrepreneurship is open to everyone,” says Nelsen. “We wrote the book to explain that it’s not just developers or graphic designers - a lot of people are starting companies and being very successful from non-technical backgrounds. The book serves as a roadmap to anyone interested in becoming an entrepreneur.”
Through an emphasis on action-based networking, participants in Startup Weekend events get to see people's skills in action and experience a low-risk way to build business relationships. They receive an experiential education with the benefit of context, deadlines, and instant feedback. In the spirit of these events, the book delivers crucial, step-by-step advice for getting past the idea to implementation. It also gives readers a primer on flexible organizational structures and information about how to produce viable products that move a business to market quicker as entrepreneurs and founders begin doing much more, even faster.
“This book is definitely a hitchhiker’s guide to the entrepreneurial revolution,” adds Nouyrigat. “It explains how to get started, next steps to take and how you can take your idea to reality and launch a new, successful business.”
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