Earlier this year, I was fortunate enough (through my involvement with Digital Okanagan) to be one of the organizers for the inaugural Startup Weekend Okanagan. Reflecting back, that event is still having major rippling effects on me, my business and my community.
Being in the Okanagan for less than two years, my network had pieces of its web missing and, holy cracker smacks, was I feeling it. I missed my Toronto peeps. I missed my old colleagues. I missed being part of something bigger.
I didn’t realize it, but by committing myself to the Startup Weekend Organizing team, my roots began to grow. Connecting with the vibrant tech community locally and regionally for a weekend dedicated to building cool stuff connected me to my people. MY PEOPLE! My people are smart, creative, passionate, driven, motivated, wild and wonderful. Check out how cool they are!
So, the point I am trying to make is: you need to find your people. The ones that resonate with what you want to do, what you want to build and the impact that you want to make. The ones that are already doing it, are thinking of doing it, and have done it already.
And one way to find your people is to volunteer some of YOUR super-smarts and energy towards a cause, event, or movement. It’s out there already, or you might want to start your own.
But it’s time to leave the building and get out into the world to see what good you can do. The good you are drawn to will also draw your people.
This week, I was lucky enough to be in the audience while Steve Blank skype-presented to members of Accelerate Okanagan. What a cool experience, to have access to such a prolific thought leader on startups and customer development. After a 45-minute presentation and a round of very engaging Q&A with the audience, I left with extra-spring in my step for a couple of key reasons:
- Failure = experience. Steve underlined the importance of failure, of designing “experiments” that engage your target audience and by doing that, turning your hypothesis of what your clients need/want into facts and insights. It’s a matter of moving from fiction to fact.
- Your baby might be ugly, so deal with it. The only way you are going to find out whether your product/service is viable is by asking, testing, and perhaps, pivoting. I love how Steve made this helluva great comparison, because that’s what your work might feel like: your baby.
- Your customer: a day in the life. You need to know what a day in the life of your customer looks like now. You need to know what it looks like after using your product/service. What a juicy thing to dig your teeth into!
- Entrepreneurs make things happen. My favourite quote from Steve’s presentation and so true. Entrepreneurs make cool things, move things along, and even move mountains to get to their end goal. Dog. Bone. Right on.
Stay cool, my business-minded friends. And check out The Startup Owner’s Manual: the first manual that I ever wanted to read.