I’ve mentioned before that I was planning to go to Montreal Startup Weekend, but it’s going on now and sadly I’m not there. I bought my ticket early, I spent sleepless nights thinking of ideas to pitch, I read all kinds of advice on how to get the most out of the weekend…I really wanted to go. So why didn’t I?
The main reason is that I’m sick. Apparently hanging out in hospitals and air travel catches up to you or something… I had been sick since Wednesday or Thursday and woke up Friday feeling much the same: congested, unable to breathe, headache, looking like death, etc. I had an a.m. meeting with Ian Jeffrey of the awesome Montreal startup accelerator FounderFuel at Notman House so I medicated and actually managed to feel kind of ok for a bit, but when I got home and the meds wore off I felt worse than ever and the next batch of meds weren’t much help. I tried and hoped to still make it and took a shower around 5 with hopes of feeling refreshed,but it just wasn’t to be.
I just couldn’t imagine going through something as intense as Startup Weekend feeling like this and going through a box of tissues an hour (word of advice: buy stock in Kleenex, Scotties, etc. Monday), let alone pitching an idea in front of 200 people with limited breathing capabilities. Working long hours with new people and going out and testing/validating hypotheses in this state would be near impossible. Maybe more importantly, Startup Weekend is largely about networking and I don’t think looking like death and getting people sick is the best first impression. On top of it all, I was pretty sure I’d have to leave for a couple hours on Saturday for personal reasons which also was far from ideal, especially if I ended up pitching and leading a team.
So, it sucks, but I’m not there… Despite a hectic week I did take the time to work on some pitches, create quick and dirty graphics and landing pages (I’ve now worked with both LaunchRock and Unbounce, both great products) and read all kinds of advice about Startup Weekends. Some might see all that as a loss, but I really don’t. Thinking through short pitches, elevator pitches by any other name, for some of my ideas certainly isn’t only valuable for Startup Weekend, nor is working on branding and landing pages and securing domains, twitter accounts, etc. Even the advice about Startup Weekends is valuable even if I never attend one (though I definitely still hope to do so ASAP): advice on how to work with strangers, create a minimum viable product and be as efficient as possible is clearly valuable in any context.
I have to go for now, but good luck to all who are at the event! From following along a bit on twitter it seems like there are some great ideas and great energy there as expected. And if anyone wants to pivot to some sort of app that helps people with sinus colds/flu let me know if I can help out with market testing (hopefully I won’t need to use the app for shortest ER wait that I see one team is working on though)…
- Stop Thinking… (thisisnotajob.com)