Getting the Most out of Startup Weekend: Part I

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The group at Startup Weekend is not only committed to helping ventures start and grow, but also to building a worldwide community of people who want to grow their local startup scenes and are willing to freely share the tips that have made their events and startups successful.

Here are a few of the posts and lessons learned from Startup Weekend:

Keeping Your Eyes Open for the Amazing People You Might Meet: The Story of Zaarly’s Beginnings (Huffington Post)
It’s about people. Find the most talented people you want to work with.

“This shared bonding experience building something important together was perhaps the best interview for a cofounder you could have. Without any expectations and just a few short days to create something, we focused on what truly mattered – doing something we were proud of.”

What’s the best way to prepare for and get the most out of Startup Weekend, especially as a “business guy”? (Quora)
Some excellent tips here – but your mileage will vary. One key piece from Danielle Morrill’s summary:

“Build a Culture That Launches

  • Recruit developers first, poach the best people if you have to.

  • Focus on getting to proof of concept fast with just a few features.

  • Pick an idea you know how to build, add cool experimental features later if you have time.

  • Get customers right away – learn from them, treat them like gold.

  • Start planning your presentation/pitch early, it will help clarify your vision.”

How to Get the Most out of your Startup Weekend (Startup Weekend Blog)
More good stuff here, including:

Don’t Build a Company, Build a Product
Entire companies aren’t built in 54 hours. If you’re planning to sit around and form a fully-fledged new venture, Startup Weekend will be a total waste of time. It’s all about kicking ass at one thing —  developing your product.

Leverage the expertise of your mentors to build a strategic plan and core business model around it. Don’t worry about the administrative stuff — that doesn’t need to be perfect. If you focus on a building a quality product, you’ll find that that is what continues to have value beyond Startup Weekend.

Are there other tips you have from similar events or tips you’ve found online? (I’m still looking for my absolute favorite from last year -grrr.) Please share!