Why You Should Participate In Startup Weekend, In50hrs and Other Such Events?

This post is triggered by a poll Vijayanand in the In50hrs Facebook Group.

I am not going to answer the Incentive part of Vijay’s question. There are lots of good comments. In my opinion, here is why you should participate.

If you have product ideas, and serious about them, you should take a few and run some experiments. One of them is to build enough of it to show people and get feedback. Since you can always build a prototype on your own, why should you go and do it in a Startup Weekend or In50hrs? Here are a few reasons, I can think of:

  1. It helps you do the quick pitch test. Are you able to convey the idea effectively in a short time? When you pitch your idea, what kinds of questions do you get?   Do you get others interested in working with you?
  2. It helps you to do the prototype test. Can you actually take your core idea and create a prototype in a weekend? Can you form a team with unknown people (if needed), figure out how to work with them, produce something that shows a bit of your idea and get  feedback?
  3. It helps with the peer group test. What do your peers think about your idea? What questions do they ask you while you are building  ?
  4. It helps you with the demo test. You actually get to demo your prototype. You may get suggestions, show of interest, and even a few evangelists willing to talk/write about your product.
  5. It helps you with ‘What Next’ test. Enough indicators during the event will give you a feel for the next steps.

Now think of all that happens during such an event and think how much effort you need to spend on your own to get anywhere close?