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SWO5 – My Advice For Rookies

Jun 12

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Thursday, June 12, 2014 8:00 PM  RssIcon

StartupWeekendOttawaLast weekend I participated in Startup Weekend Ottawa.  I’m doing a four part series on my experience, this is two of four.  I hope you enjoy it!

Last week I volunteered at Startup Weekend Ottawa and I had a FANTASTIC time.  I would like to share my experiences with you in a four part series.  This is turning out to be less of a “Review” as it is “Preps For Next Time.”  I hope you enjoy it as much as I had “preparing” for this blog series.


My Experience Volunteering


My Advice for Rookies\Noobs


What Do You Need To Participate?


You Going? GREAT! Now What?


Bonus – Closing Thoughts and Last Minute Tips

My Advice for Rookies\Noobs

Last weekend I volunteered at Startup Weekend Ottawa (SWO) and had a BLAST!  This is the second blog post in the series.

If you are thinking of participating in the NEXT (rumored to be in the fall) Startup Weekend Ottawa (GOOD for you!), here is some advice for you rookies!  There’s quite a few things to consider, maybe not all of them will pertain to you, but I hope they’ll serve you well.

  • realize, you're not alone, MOST people there, are rookies, just like you
    • sorry, you're not special in THAT way, this time around
  • if\when there was a personal conflict
    • it's gonna happen in real life, be an adult and deal with it like an adult
    • people treat each other like they're at a startup, you just deal with it like people!
    • I did see one conflict, yes, I felt uncomfortable, and I was just an observer, but they dealt with it, no blows, no ten minute misconduct penalties, not game ejections! it was all very civil
  • try to leave the "I have X years experience in XYZ, you need to listen to what I have to say" as a convincing or cooping mechanism
    • chances are, if you need to resort to this, you've already lost the argument, find another way
    • younger people care less about your "years of experience" than the ideas of those years can convince them that they need to pay attention to
    • The mentors know this small little tidbit and don't lecture, they try to convince through facts and stats
  • have a goal going into it, but understand that could change...and its OK!
    • ask yourself at the end of each day, did you achieve that goal?
      • yes, then set another one for tomorrow
      • no, that's fine, how did you move towards it today? and what will you do tomorrow?
  • keep Sam's vids links handy,
    • you might find yourself one day trying to remember THAT person’s name, then you’ll might watch the vid and go "THERE'S Wahib, Adi, Mo, Gabe, or Michael, or Tanya or Robert or Greg, Tej or....." and it'll just BANG! hit you! it's and awesome feeling when you remember someone’s name
    • (why yes, I am proud of the people I met!)
  • If you're a team of one...
    • you probably should shelve your idea but only for now, you really should go find a team to contribute to
    • Cheryl mentioned this on Fri night, I found it rather harsh, but it stuck with me all night, not sure why, maybe the bluntness, the reality?
    • but then I realized, if you're paying $ to participate, you're there to be part of something bigger, a team! 
    • Get out of your comfort zone, find a group, try to contribute, you'll be MUCH happier for it!!!!
    • going could do that at home
      • save that idea for next week; today, concentrate on helping another team
      • they want you and you need them, why not help each other out?
  • if you're on any other team
    • good! you found a team, that's half the battle, now what?
      • Bond, learn about your team
      • develop your team's idea
      • contribute to the best of YOUR ability
  • understand you're probably not going to become the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs after this weekend, highly unlikely you'll get your $1 million buyout exit package
    • sorry, reality check here
    • but you WILL learn valuable life lessons
    • make a few friends
    • make invaluable career contacts
    • get invaluable project\business advice you just won't see anywhere else
    • and have a good time
    • realize a few things about the business world you NEVER would have thought of...until this weekend
  • above all.....HAVE FUN!

Now you have the inside track for advice on your next Startup Weekend Ottawa.  If you’re there, keep an eye out for me, and if you see me, please say hi and let me know if this was helpful.  Until then, it’s time to grab a coffee and get coding!



Sam Chen on YouTube

Startup Ottawa Weekend site

Startup Weekend Ottawa Twitter feed (@swottawa)

Startup Weekend Ottawa on Facebook

LinkedIn = Paul Austin-Menear

Marketing BreakThroughs Inc. =  6 Things Businesses Can Learn from Startup Weekend Ottawa

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