I realize the next Startup Weekend in Omaha isn’t until September 16th but I wanted to wanted to document some of my thoughts about it. I’ve never been to Startup Weekend before (I missed the first 2 in Omaha), but I can say that I am genuinely excited about the next one coming up in Omaha for a couple of reasons.
1. It’s a chance to meet people I may have never met before: There are a bunch of really creative people in Omaha with wildly different ideas and skills and all too often, we find ourselves in a bubble of the same people we work and hang out with everyday. I feel that this leads us to think along the same lines that we always do. Meeting new people with different ideas helps us tap into new ways of thinking that we may not be exposed to otherwise.
2. I want to see if other people think some of my ideas are any good: I am pretty sure some of my ideas are pretty good, but I will find out for sure when people cast their votes on what projects they want to work on. If my idea gets chosen, it will be a nice little reassurance that others think the same. If not, then I will try to get some feedback as to why so I can do a bit better the next time.
3. They are making a documentary about it: Hey, who doesn’t want to be part of a film?
4. There is a chance that we could make something really valuable that lots of people want to use: Ultimately, this is the main reason I want to go. Building extremely useful and interesting products is something that fascinates me. Zaarly, LaunchRock, and Foodspotting are just 3 examples of companies that originated at Startup Weekends that are getting some real traction. If there is even a small sliver of a chance that I might be involved in something like that, then you can count me in.
5. I want to see how much value I bring to a small team: I don’t have design skills or programming skills (although I am learning some basic programming), but I do have some Product skills(my actual job is a Product role) and I have some decent idea of how to market web apps, perform easy to understand demos, and an overall understanding of the business landscape in general ( I was a Business major after all). But a lot of that stuff isn’t as tangible as programming/design skills and I want to see how much I can offer to the team. I think I have a lot of value to add, but the only way to tell is to actually go through the steps needed to launch a product and see just how much I bring to the table.
6. The event is in the new business building at University of Nebraska Omaha: I graduated from UNO in 2007 and I haven’t been back since the new business building opened. I am just excited to see the new facility. I hear it is really nice and it will be nice to do some work back at my old stomping grounds.
As I mentioned in the first paragraph, I wanted to document my feelings about why I was excited about attending this Startup Weekend in Omaha. But I left out another reason why I wrote this post. The second reason I wrote this post is because I want other people to get excited enough about Startup Weekend so they will actually attend and participate. One of the elements needed for an event like this to succeed, is a talented pool of attendees. I am hoping that we can get a good number of the technological and creative talent in the area to attend this event to help ensure that the teams end up with a high quality product in the end. After all, the quality of the talent that attends this event will most likely have a huge impact on the quality of the end product that is produced. The better the end product, the better chance that a real tangible business gets born out of this thing. And that is good for everyone. So if you are on the fence about coming, just take a chance and come out and we’ll see what happens. I have a feeling it will be a great experience.