I've been giving a lot of thought to the StartupWeekend phenomena. As I and others have mentioned, it was amazing to see such remarkable talent show up, ready to play. There were no rules, and no expectations other than to see a startup launched by Sunday. People got together to do something cool with the chance of reward… no guarantees, just a chance.
With the success of StartupWeekend, Andrew Hyde will be traveling to different cities around the country helping other like minded individuals get the same thing going in their neighborhood. Unfortunately I can't make those, but I'm every bit as excited to see the turnout and resulting products as I was to see ours. It is exciting to watch it evolve and improve. Andrew will have a blast with it and with the team he's surrounded himself with, I see good things for him.
StartupWeekend in Boulder had 58 participants that dedicated roughly 54 hours in a row to the project. The premise was to show up at 6PM on friday, and leave at midnight Monday morning. Of course it didn't work out that way, but that was the idea. I know several fantastic people that didn't participate because of time constraints. They dropped by to see how it was going, but didn't stay. I am fortunate enough to have a wife that understands me… so much so that she gave me a pass for the entire weekend.
My participation in StartupWeekend was inevitable. I'm a serial entrepreneur and can't stop thinking about ways to improve the world in some way or another. Just look at my Ideas section for a sampling of what I mean. As a matter of fact, while on a recent trip with a good friend of mine through the Tetons and Yellowstone, we came up with no less than 10 solid ideas in the course of normal conversation. We weren't brainstorming ideas, just talking. That is who I am, who we are.
StartupWeekend has been on my mind since it happened. There are people around the world that just want to contribute to something. They want to see an idea through from start to finish because that is their nature. They have spare cycles here and there, but can't or don't want to commit to anything long term or even for more than a few hours per week. Retirees, stay at home parents with successful careers, busy serial entrepreneurs, students… you get the idea.
These people need something to work on, something to contribute to, with the very real possibility of financial reward. I've been talking with friends about a project called “Social Ingenuity,” and while it isn't ready for general feedback, it is close enough to bring it to light. It is a combination of two concepts: idealRealm (an idea Bracken, Rich, and I had in 2003), and the reality that the world is indeed flat… there are people all over the world that want to do stuff, just to do it. This project is significant, so significant that I'm going to focus all of my energy on HyperSites and “Social Ingenuity.”
Here's a teaser: Good ideas are a dime a dozen. We don't have the time/resources/specialized knowledge to move most of our ideas beyond the napkin phase. We're busy… we have other demands of our time. Jobs, kids, family, hobbies, exercise… we just don't have time. But what if that wasn't the case? What if you could test your idea's viability, have it implemented, and possibly funded?