Friday, January 13, 2012

Pre-Startup Weekend Bootcamp

I went to a pre-Startup Weekend "bootcamp" tonight and had a pretty good time. While there were a few folks who had been to past Startup Weekend events, I felt like most of them were in the same first-timer boat as me. There were probably about 40 people (out of 120 registered for the main event) in attendance. The aggregate skill set was a bit skewed towards software development probably due to the bootcamp being somewhat developer-focused. However, people talked about everything from Google App Engine to business models to pitches.

Since I really want to pitch an idea to get the full experience of the event, I've been trying to come up with ideas over the past couple of weeks. I had six ideas I was considering, some of which I think would be pretty fun to work on, but after getting feedback from colleagues, friends, and new acquaintances from the bootcamp, I'm not convinced any of them will attract much interest from other folks at Startup Weekend. At this point, I think I need to just go with one and cross my fingers. Even if it doesn't come out well, the practice will be good for me and I'll still be excited about working on another project.

Something else I've been doing in preparation for the weekend is searching for tools to help manage the project and assist with business development. In terms of management, my favorite tool is Trello. I already use it for personal stuff and it's so easy to use and share that I think this will be a great help during the weekend. One of the cooler customer feedback tools I'm hoping I'll get a chance to try is aytm (ask your target market). It's a very focused survey tool that lets businesses survey their target audience.

At the end of the weekend, I'll write a review of the experience and share a list of the tools that we actually used. I'm excited!

Follow my Startup Weekend Seattle experience through the following progression of posts:
  1. Initial thoughts
  2. Pre-Startup Weekend bootcamp (Jan. 12, 2012)
  3. My pitch idea
  4. Day 1 of Startup Weekend Seattle (Jan. 13, 2012)
  5. Day 2 of Startup Weekend Seattle (Jan. 14, 2012)
  6. Day 3 of Startup Weekend Seattle (Jan. 15, 2012)
  7. Post-Startup Weekend lesson summary