Startup Weekend To Dos

This weekend there will be more than the usual number of #lean hashtags on Twitter. Startup Weekend is holding its 54-hour events around the world, including in Hong Kong. I recently gave a pre-Startup Weekend talk on “Lean Startup in 54 Minutes” and I thought I’d share the major parts of the talk here.

This isn’t a hackathon (where you focus on building) or a business plan competition (where you focus on untested projections of fantasy). Instead, work on Customer Development, your Business Model, and building an MVP to validate your idea.

Get familiar with the radical idea of talking to other human beings. I know it’s more comfortable in front of the glow of your laptop screen, but when you get out of the building and speak to real people, the sunlight of reality will help you learn a lot. In my experience, people wait too long to start doing this.

Learn about the Business Model Canvas. It will help organize your thinking and open you up to new opportunities.

Most people who say they’re building an MVP are not. They’re really just building a basic version of their product. That’s not an MVP. An MVP is focused on getting you validated learning. An MVP doesn’t need to be coded, either. You could make a video, use paper mockups, or do a “concierge” service where people perform all the behind-the-scenes among other techniques. Just remember that the point is to learn, not to just start building.

For more on all this, I hope this toolkit will be helpful to you. And this is an MVP of my own that that will help you get through Startup Weekend. Good luck!

Filed in: lean startup