StartupWeekend: resounding success, just incognito

70 people get together to build a web-based company in a single weekend. That’s 70 people that either barely know each other or have barely worked together – well maybe 60 or so plus a few that actually do work together. Nevertheless, just getting this many people to burn their entire weekend working for 1/70th of the equity in an unfunded enterprise is a feat. Yet, there were naysayers beforehand and the “told ya so” crowd” afterward (the site didn’t actually launch on time), many of whom fall into the following persona categories:

– Those that thought this project was purely an exercise in building to flip (because they generally can’t see the forest through the trees); and
– Those that the existing 70 folks probably wouldn’t have wanted around anyway (because they are simply negative-willed pains in the asses).

There were numerous successes to this “venture,” and you don’t really need a well-trained eye to see them either:

  • A few die hards will finish the project (albeit late), and probably sharpen their negotiating skills (to balance their highly tuned coding skills, and newfound high pressure social skills);
  • A few people will have some fun with the project once it’s done;
  • Vosnap will not need to hire a PR firm when it launches (they’ve gotten plenty of free publicity already);
  • The groundbreaking “all open” development methodology (open as in blogged, video-ed, cross-commented on, etc.) will be the subject of a business school case study, and probably sooner rather than later;
  • Several of the participants will invariably start something else, knowing now that they have complimentary skillsets and further assurances of a productive working relationship;
  • The Foundry Group/TechStars/Boulder/Colorado communities stand to benefit from the above (and they knew it to begin with).

There are probably a lot more gains to be had that don’t show up at first glance, but I have to go walk the dog.

Also noted…even though Vosnap didn’t launch on time, there is a distinct lack of directly negative commentary showing up among the “internet influencers” – before you bash this project, ask yourself why.


[…] I know they worked hard, and I’m sure a lot them are frustrated. Several people haveĀ been supportive, and I echo their positive sentiments. I’m hoping to help organize a start-up weekend in DC […]

Michael Gracie says:

I’ve been a “victim” of bad back-end choice problems – I’m actually quite curious as to what the back-end was, and may find out soon.

As for replicating StartupWeekend, I wonder what will be learned from the next knockoff. One thought is developing a national or international StartupWeekend rally, and providing the best successful concept with some funding based on agreed-upon metrics.

I suspect the winners would be the ones smart enough to hire someone from the last crowd, and pay them well for their experience.

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