The weekend marathon event In50hrs is behind us now. But the ripples continue. A few blog posts, tweets and retweets, facebook pictures and comments are still trickling in. Here is what I really like about the event.
- I liked the name and the tag line – “Can you take an idea and give it life in 50 hours?” seems to have appealed to a lot of people.
- We planned for 40 people and 10 mentors. We ended up with 56 and more than a dozen mentors. That is a great validation of the concept.
- We threw together the event in a short time. We got the venue on the morning of the event launch and till 5pm (the event was supposed to start at 6pm), we had no power, no internet connectivity and not enough tables for people to work. In spite of all this the event started with great energy and enthusiasm. People sat on cotton quilts deeply absorbed in the ideas being presented.
- We expected a dozen ideas. We had 24. Over the next day we had a lot of mergers and acquisitions activity (idea mergers, talent acquisition).
- We ended up with 16 prototypes much to every one’s surprise.
- We loved the fact that ‘fail early’ was in full effect. A few people switched ideas after discussions with mentors.
- We love the mentors. They came and stayed over the weekend and worked shoulder to shoulder with young teams to bring ideas to fruition.
- We loved the fact that some people were sitting on their ideas for months and years and in this event, in 50 hours, brought them to life.
- We discovered new patterns of collaboration and amazing empathy. One team gave up their idea and decided to help three different teams with their expertise. Many were working on couple of projects.
- There was a sense of comfort. Students rubbed shoulders with entrepreneurs. Marketing and bizdev people had long sessions with hard core developers. One of the most amazing instances of this co-operation was a sales person who showed up with an idea and got a mentor as his development partner.
- There were several intermediate milestone demos and improvements based on the feedback. I think peer reviews and feedback was one of the most enriching aspects of this event.
- Students rocked. They produced 3 of the 16 prototypes show cased. A couple of students stayed up two nights in a row just to help other teams on interaction design.
- The event spawned many new ideas, new relationships. I am sure it will spawn quite a few initiatives.
- For me, personally, I got to know a lot of people a lot better. I saw amazing persistence and effort.
This was a kind of an MVP for the Startup Centre itself. We learned a lot from this event and that knowledge will help us do the next one much better. But most of all, we learned one thing – there is talent and energy and enthusiasm for building products. And this is just the beginning.
I hope a few years from now, we will look back at this event as one of the inflection points in Chennai Tech.