― Helen Keller
Is it possible to build a startup in just one weekend with people you’ve never met before?
The Startup Weekend starts with a group of people gathered together from all walks of life who are all there for one purpose, to build a startup in one weekend. They form teams organically after attendants have had a chance to pitch their idea in front of everyone. Our team started with a great idea and we had makers, designers, developer, business professionals and target market representatives working together.
Every team needs to represent all the skills needed to turn the idea into reality
But we had never worked together! Our experienced team leader, Alison, created a great working environment by setting the tone and establishing what everyone hoped to achieve out of the weekend. We then discussed what parts needed to be worked on over the weekend. Being on the same page helped motivate us, gave us focus and the team was organised around the deliverables allowing people to worked within their strengths.
Every team needs to utilise team member's strengths and have a common vision
Both small and large teams can lose focus on the goal. With a large team there’s an additional issue of people being lost in the crowd. Each of our functional sub-teams set it’s own pace. We also took time to look regularly at what we needed to finish and when. Those sub-deadlines ensured that things were being completed regularly. The short deadlines also made smaller issues that came up irrelevant and helped us all stay focused on the big picture.
Sub-teams need their own sub-deadlines and deliverables
So what did we achieve in just one weekend? Our team built prototypes, first from plasticine and then with 3D printing, we validated the products with two different focus groups of kids in our target market and pivoted the implementation into offering two different experiences for the different ages. We also built a working prototype for a story engine that can create stories based on what beads are grouped together, we tested various ways of connecting the physical beads with the digital world and we priced manufacturing and built a business model. We even sold some of the prototypes!
We did it. In one weekend an idea turned into a product and we are still working together. Our next step is competing for votes in the Global Startup Battle where the winning teams from each city face off against each other.
Please join us on our journey and vote at www.griflens.co/vote
Blog post by Einar Johannesson