Building a Web Business is Hard, Technically
This past weekend, 72 co-founders got together to try to build a web start-up from concept to launch in an experiment dubbed Startup Weekend. They (designers, developers, UXers, marketers -- even lawyers) started on Friday by selecting a business idea from a list of 50 suggestions. They cranked almost non-stop until the wee hours Sunday night, but ultimately didn't accomplish the stated goal of having VoSnap open for business on Monday. The software just wasn't ready, and to that end, they admit, it was a failure. It's clear to me, though, that the weekend was a success on many levels, and I commend the group for being so open with their experiences along the way. I was in Colorado and couldn't resist stopping by on Sunday afternoon to see what was happening for myself. David, Andrew, and Matt showed me around a bit, and I was able to be a fly on the wall. I was there less than an hour, but a couple of things struck me right away:
- There was a great productive energy. I showed up 40+ hours into it, and everyone was still getting along great and enjoying themselves. There was lots of collaboration and real work getting done. It was fun to be around.
- It was more about the experience than the results. It was relaxed. People weren't overly stressed -- it was more about having the chance to work along side a bunch of other smart people. Everyone was clearly learning a lot from each other, and they seemed to value the experience more than any potential value of owning 1/72th of a start-up (something the TechCrunch flamers don't seem to get). It was certainly intense and focused, but it wasn't a make-or-break attitude. Given the situation, I think that's fine.