What I’ve Learned from Winning Startup Weekend – Henk Beijert
This post originally appeared on blog.up.co
There has never been a better time to start a business… While knowledge, ideas and inspiration have never been this accessible, the biggest barrier for starting a business has become something else: you.
Startup Weekend changed the way I think
When I look at the way I make decisions, the way I approach challenges these days, I can connect them to some of the valuable experiences I had during Startup Weekend. Startup Weekend planted valuable seeds. It influenced the way I think, work and do business now: going for it.
Gaining startup knowledge
I’ve read a lot about startups, entrepreneurship and technology and I’m still deeply fascinated by these themes. When you're an aspiring startup entrepreneur, the internet is a great source of knowledge. You can learn from the many founders that have shared their inspiring journeys.
Startup knowledge is useless
However, knowledge gives us a false feeling of comfort. Knowledge is useless, unless you can make it relevant to your own situation by experience. Therefore, challenge yourself! This creates real valuable to you. Create your own inspiring journey! Build a team, then feel the pain of “breaking up” with your team. Work long hours on your product and then ditching 80% again of what you’ve done. Maybe start over, but always: go for it.
Starting a company in 54 hours is hard
Don't get discouraged, Startup Weekend will be great fun!!! But you will have some really tough moments as well. We had discussions on our team, about different ideas and visions, a huge lack of sleep and we made continuous changes in the business model. When we thought we had a solid plan, there were these mentors that gave us a hard time... Don’t get me wrong, these people were great, I really appreciate them. But I hated some of their feedback at the time… Now I see these moments as my most valuable experiences. They still resonate today.
What to do after Startup Weekend?
My team and I won Startup Weekend 2014. But more important: I learned to make a choice: to go for it, 100%. Not as a side project but to give it all I’ve got. Creating my own inspiring startup journey with valuable experiences every day.
No matter what ideas you may have, remember that the biggest barrier is not your lack of knowledge but missing out on the valuable experience by not going for it. So stop reading and start doing. Go for it! Give it all you've got!