Having been to four startup weekends this year, one thing that really stood out is the ability for participants to make it happen.
The weekend is incredibly short and the teams that can organise themselves the best, breakdown what needs to get done and then act on these plans always come out on top.
I have seen some great ideas fall apart due to a lack of direction and a lack of communication.
So here are my top five tips to getting it done at a Startup Weekend.
1: Time your discussions.
Now you would think being on such a tight timeline this would be obvious to people but timing your brainstorming and discussions is vital.
Time will fly, especially on the Friday night.
Setup a timer on your phone for two minutes, argue your points, and after two minutes, have a team vote and then move on. Don’t get stuck going around in circles.
2: Make an action list
Make a list of what needs to get done, either using an online app or your Kanban boards. Assign team members to the tasks.
If you can have tasks assigned to the team by the time you leave on Friday night you will be ready to go first thing Saturday.
This will give you a massive advantage. I have seen teams lose hours first thing on Saturday due to a lack of direction.
3: Validate as early as you can
An idea is just that, you have to find out if people actually want what you are offering.
First thing Saturday you should be ready to get out and start talking to the public about your idea.
Be open to the feedback you receive as this can lead to a much better idea.
4: Delegate the work
Split the team up to work your way through the tasks.
Your team members all have unique skills, find out what they are and share the work load.
There is no point in the entire team doing the same thing together.
5: Standup meetings
Come together during the days for quick catchups and make sure to time these.
Run through your task lists, find out where everyone is at, what’s been done, and what’s left to do. Make sure to mark off completed tasks and add new ones to the list.
By Sam Kidd