I’m super energized once again after taking a part in Startup Weekend event, this time organized in Kaunas, Lithuania. I see me and my friend still wearing the event’s T-Shirts and keep talking about how well we have spent the weekend.
Friday, 16:30 we get into a car and we are on the way to Kaunas, after one hour of absolutely random chitchat in the car we are arriving to venue, next to the city hall in the heart of Kaunas. A lot of curious people trying to get on the list of the event and grab the T-Shirts and badges proving that all of them are belonging to one movement – Startup Weekend.
Right after a short ice-breaking game we are listening to nearly thirty pitches. Shortly after the pitching phase people vote for the best ideas and start forming teams. This is when the fun stuff starts, the actual work. 54 hours of effort and lots of enthusiasm in one place.
I’d love to share some of the observations and lessons I’ve learnt that will help you to become a game changer and better entrepreneur.
1. Make as many friends as you can
It’s not about winning all the time, the journey itself is the most rewarding experience you will ever have. When I arrived at the event I started talking to everyone I could, just to make the first contact and break the ice. Even saying something really stupid like “hello” a couple of times in a funny voice will do the work.
As one of the mentors of the event Claudio Santori mentioned, make friends everywhere, even in a parking lot, this will help you to become a successful entrepreneur. Grow your network because it’s your power. Get to know more people and you’ll become more powerful and capable of achieving anything.
2. Always be challenged
I’ve joined a team of other 9 cool individuals to build a game in a weekend. This is what I’ve learnt. Games are all about challenging yourself to reach your best potential. Step out of your comfort zone by doing something new to challenge your skill-set and learning something completely out of your knowledge range. Communication can be challenging as well but putting some effort and listening to other people will help you to gain some trust and following.
Always have deadlines, tight deadlines allow you to focus on what really matters and make decisions quicker. When your time is burning quickly you start seeing that the color of call to action button or logo doesn’t really are that important.
3. Do something remarkable
From the very beginning of the event we started using a “game changer” and “hamster universe” phrases to create some buzz. Sometimes our team was acting crazy and stupid but it is what made people remember us. After a while, we made some hamster masks to promote our game. The startup wasn’t just about the business, it was about creating a movement involving all people. We were handing out the masks to event participants and taking photographs, sharing with friends to make them feel that they belong to something bigger than themselves. That is how we got extra points and huge support at the end.
4. Surround yourself with dreamers and doers
The team is what will make you devote yourself for a shared goal and reach your best potential. Make sure you connect with rebels, crazy ones and dreamers who will make everything to accomplish the impossible.
5. Have fun
That’s probably the most important thing. Money won’t make you happy, winning either, but having fun and being with like minded people will. My team on Startup Weekend wasn’t too serious about what we were creating. We just wanted to have an awesome weekend creating something enjoyable for others too. Surprisingly it turned out that happiness and positive attitude was contagious and helped us to get some people on our side and eventually win two awards.
So what we have created during the weekend you may ask. I didn’t do much as I am very new into the games industry, but we accomplished to gather a team of 10 extremely positive people with the right attitude to create the next “game changer” as we love to call it. Hamster Universe is a simple clicking game where you need to tap as fast as you can to make your hamster run and produce energy, then you get to buy more hamsters and gear for them to conquer the universe.
Featured image: KTU StartupSpace
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