Imagine you have 72 hours to form a team, conceive a viable business idea and then pitch it to investors, tech gurus and journalists. No imagination is necessary, just jump on the Startup Bus.
I did, and I learnt some incredible things:
When in doubt, make a call. Action is better than inaction, better to fail fast and iterate than to wait for the stars to align, they won’t. Get on the phone, make a decision, do something.
Time constraints are vital, put them on everything. Defining a product name and logo typically take weeks, if not months. We gave ourselves 4 minutes, and guess how long it took? You got it, 4 minutes.
The validation phase may be put off for months until more information is gathered. We got on the phone to industry professionals immediately, and validated our product within hours of its inception.
Be excited about your vision and others will be too, the world is full of people willing to help out. Ideas flourish when shared, bring people on your journey and nothing can stop you.
External pressure is powerful, leverage it. The bar on the Startup Bus is set high, which has an empowering effect. We are expected to get traction, acquire paying customers, find investors, and have a working product people can use. When the seemingly impossible is portrayed as the normal, our mind shifts gears, it finds a way to make the impossible happen.
My partner and I wrote on our presentation slides that we had raised 5k for our new product, Committ, then submitted them. We hadn’t, and we couldn’t retract the slides. We then had 2 hours to make that figure a reality.
We gave ourselves no other option, so we raised 5k.
When success is the only option, our brain finds a way to make it happen. Have high expectations and set challenging timelines, you will find a way to succeed.