In October and November I went to Launch 48 in London and Startup Weekend in Manchester. Both of these are great events within their own rights but there are some things that should be considered if you’re planning on heading to a startup weekend.

If you’re new to startups or are just getting started..
startup-signI’ve met a few people in the last month or two who are planning to or are in the process of getting their businesses going.

For each and every one of those people, even if they’re not doing a tech startup, going to a startup weekend is probably more useful than any uni course, short perhaps of doing an MBA in entrepreneurship.

One of the most important lessons that you can pick up from these weekends, assuming you’re open to new ideas. Is to be flexible to, and dare I say it, pivot, challenge your assumptions and stay flexible.

If you’re not new to startups..
startup officePerhaps you’ve been working in a startup for a few years, you might even be doing pretty well. Hanging around a group of newbies might not feel like a great idea.. However there’s a good chance you’ll get a new view on how quickly ideas can evolve and how you can act and test them extremely quickly.

I went with a previous co-founder to both weekends and we both came back with ideas for things we wanted to bring into our businesses.

If you’ve done an incubator program..
Then honestly, there’s probably no point.

Failure & Ideas
great startup weekend ideaMost of the startups don’t get past the weekend. Don’t let that discourage you.. But with that in mind, do consider what idea you’re going to work on over a weekend. Try and make sure that you work on something where you can actually talk to your customers.

An enterprise b2b sales app might sound great but how many sales managers can you speak to on a Saturday for validation.

Like real life, Team is important
It’s thought that the perfect team is one business guy, a designer and a coder. It’s true that at the end of the weekend it’s great to have something live and working. However, it’s also good to have had the experience of cracking open an idea to see if it’s feasible and working around it until you find something worth attacking.

Depending on where your entrepreneurial life has taken you a startup weekend could be worth your time. You’ll get to meet some great people, mentors and might even have some fun. Oh, but they are quite tiring 🙂