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The Designer Dilemma: tips from Bhavesh from SmileToday on how Designers can prepare for Startup Weekend.


Bhavesh Bhuthadia on Designers & Startup Weekend


We’ve talked extensively leading up to this Auckland Startup Weekend about designers and the reasons they do or don’t come to Startup Weekend. One of the most vocal individuals around this discussion has been Bhavesh Bhuthadia, passionate designer and Startup Weekend success story. I’ve asked Bhavesh to help us understand how designers can benefit from participating in Startup Weekend, or any entrepreneurial experience for that matter, and he has very kindly taken the time to illuminate. Not only that, but he has some solid advice for designers attending Auckland Startup Weekend next week. Thank you Bhavesh!

Bhavesh on what designers can gain from Startup Weekend:

I’ve participated in two Start-up Weekends before and was fortunate enough to be a part of a great team and win last year’s Auckland event. Both times have been fantastic experiences that have made me grow professionally as a designer and entrepreneur. The weekend gave me a better understanding and appreciation of people in business and web development industries that I would not be exposed to otherwise and actually see their talents applied. It made me less ignorant and more appreciative of other industries.

Creativity, tight deadlines and countless hours towards a design isn’t a foreign concept to designers. However, applying their skills and knowledge to a start-up may be something new and it’s a great creative challenge.

Design has parallels to a creating a start-up. What a designer thinks of as a prototype or complete concept, a start-up would call a Minimum Viable Product or MVP for short. Be prepared to hear that phrase a lot during the weekend. I remember asking what a MVP was at my first Start-up Weekend. The approach to creating the MVP is similar to the design process – multiple iterations assess and improve – but the context is business.

Bhavesh on what designers can expect from Startup Weekend:

Expect there to be initial confusion, pressure, doing some things that aren’t design to be a team player, and everyone to want you because you’re a rare thing.

Bhavesh on how designers can prepare for Startup Weekend:

Have a look through the Business Model Generation book. It’s a good looking book with lots of pictures and business case studies. Get familiar with what a MVP is and what it can be. Understand what value you can offer to a team and be sure to let them know on the weekend. Learn briefly what a start-up is and what they’re about.

How non-designers can be prepared for designers at Startup Weekend:

Know briefly what design is and the different types. Utilise their creative ability to help with solutions and input on a good look and experience. Designers work divergently and convergently on ideas, make use of this to aid in expanding and stepping back from the idea then move back in. Force time limits. Design is a process which could take forever if you let it.

Warm up for Startup – open to all attendees and next-timers:

Sign up for a FREE Startup Weekend Bootcamp, a must attend for everyone going to Startup next week and those who were unable to grab a ticket- it’ll give you a taste of SW to keep in mind for November SIGN UP

Startup Weekend in New Zealand is proudly sponsored by:

Massey University – Fostering business innovation and startup success

Microsoft BizSpark – Free access to software & cloud resources

Xero – Beautiful accounting software, perfect for startups

TradeMe – Where Kiwis buy and sell

BNZ – Award winning products and services for startups