Timisoara is a city in Western Romania, 600kms from Bucharest. This is how much I drove today to be present at Startup Weekend, first Timisoara edition. Well, I’ve also had some other things to do here, but I’ve been present to the launch of SW, nevertheless.
I have to say I am not a big fan of Startup Weekend. It feels… rushed and forced :) And, obviously, it’s this way by design, but I am probably getting old, because I wouldn’t see myself doing all nighters like this. Even if, while building MavenHut, an all nighter would be just part of the job (fortunately, not that many actually happened).
Today, while listening to the judging criteria I understood that Solitaire Arena and the idea of multiplayer classic games that pushed MavenHut forward would’ve never been chosen at Startup Weekend. Because we didn’t have nice graphics (something required, as I understood) or a great, specific need to fill (though boredom is one of the biggest pains of a human being).
On the other hand, though, I think Startup Weekend is a great learning tool for a startup newbie. Leadership, team work, focus, Minimum Viable Product building, all of these concepts have their place here. If I would be someone that wants to understand what working in a startup looks like I would go to Startup Weekend. By the way, they really need designers (in all startup weekends) so, if you are, you will be really valued going there. Startup Weekend means a lot of developers, business and communication people. And this is what a startup will actually need, at some point.
Finally, I hope the result of SW Timisoara will be that at least one team starts a product and keeps working on it afterwards. That would be a great success. On the other hand, the fact that about 100 people got together to create things together is already a big win :) I am just becoming a grumpy old man.
P.S.: Just to be clear: I am not a big fan of the concept for Startup Weekend. It’s a personal choice. On the other hand, I really think we need these kind of things to happen more often. Because we need more entrepreneurial people in Romania and this is the only way to make that happen: in small steps, one Startup Weekend and one meetup at the time. So, if I can help in any way, I don’t need to like it, it just needs to push the startup world one step further. Which it does.