The third day was of much adrenaline, in a few hours we finished polishing the basic functionality of our prototype and unfortunately time was running out, but I think that in our case, this was the day we got into the "zone". Just before 4 p.m. we had already the prototype and the last details of the presentation and video, we didn't even noticed we hadn't eaten, such was our focus to finish successfully.
It's wonderful to see what teams can do in just 54 hours, the presentation order is randomly assigned and everything goes fast, every team has just five minutes, timed, to present his finished project, video, materials and demo. A the end of the presentation the judges (mentors) have 3 minutes to make questions. You get to see a lot of things. An important decision is how many team members get to present, the innovation during problem presentation and the fluidity of the presenter and presentation. Even though there were some unfortunate accidents, in every single team you can see all the work done the last 54 hours.
The winning team of the event was LunchRabbit (http://twitter.com/#!/lunchrabbit), I hope they can pull their project on in the future, the first prize involves participating in a BootCamp for 30 days in Silicon Valley, just to start. The other four teams where: Myfeelm (http://myfeelm.com), 57balas, Ayuda por hora (http://ayudaporhora.com) and Foodly(http://foodly.heroku.com). Some of these links maybe disabled by now, but don't forget to stop by our project from your smartphones (http://traffic-circus.appspot.com/), wait for updates ;)
The dinner and beers at Chili's
So much fun! Closing the event, almost everyone followed to Chili's to dinner and have some beer to forget being so tired and with so little sleep the past two nights. I had the opportunity to talk with a couple of entrepreneurs that are already working with Mexican.vc developing an app for smartphones (http:\\conekta.mx). I was also talking for a while with Jorge Zavala, CEO of TechBa Silicon Valley, he told me the story and goals that these kind of initiatives are following and the impact in our country. I must say I'm excited on the opportunities that these kind of events bring and the vision and change that all these hackers bring to the system, I truly think the have changed the way I see things.
I want to thank so much to all the organizing team, congratulations for an excellent weekend, also to the Traffic Circus team. I hope I will soon be able to contribute with something to these community's effort.
After talking some words with César Salazar, from the organization team, I must admit I'm very interested to bring something to this story and the best way of doing it is starting something. This is one thing I have followed for a long time ago, but there were always obstacles that stopped me one way or another. This weekend we learned part of the things that matter when jumping into a new project: identify a problem and a value solution, validate the concept with the market, start with a Minimum Value Product, integrate a balanced team that is willing to dedicate hours to iterate as fast as necessary. If we add to all of this the passion with which Startup Weekend Mexico is making things, there's nothing to lose and only starting successfully can bring you the vision that attracts us so much from the mentors we saw this weekend.
What we learned:
Networking: there's a lot of people willing to work in interesting projects, put your part in every project, get back tons of advices on yours.
Openness: there are a lot of good ideas, learn to give up hooks that seem to pull you in one single way, adopt new ideas, play with them, build something with others.
Humility: you are not the only one with good ideas; maybe your idea wasn't that good, see how any other person would do right now. Would they use it?
Question time: don't tag a "defect" as such immediately, it's better to make a good question to find out if there's something behind that detail, your question can be of value to everyone.
Hack your ideas: bring someone from the outside and ask for his opinion, you may find there a new direction needed by your project.
Share your ideas: better if they are ideas that can change people's life, it's not a problem if someone else borrows it and get's the change you wanted.
Speed: Why is it so important to demonstrate yourself with a final product in just 54 hours? Because that's the speed used out there.
The graphic design (UI): is something ESSENTIAL against what some of us engineers imagine. One interesting concept I learned after the opening game at SW_Mexico: Design Thinking.
What I missed.
Interacting a little more with the mentors, one must make the most of this kind of opportunities.
I want more!
- The logic behing random distribution of people in the tables and afterwards in teams.
- The teams and how different each team member lives the experience.
- The pitch and "gifted speaker", projects that get group support.
Some things I heard during the weekend:
Long term vision, short term execution.