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Posts tagged Startup Weekend London

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"Reinventing The Calendar". Or Why Ideas Are Not Unique, Execution Is

"Right now, 100 people are already working on your idea." 

This is the story I will tell every entrepreneur who doesn’t want to give me details about her idea, or asks me to sign an NDA before she will even give me her name: 

9 months ago, I took part in my first Startup Weekend in London (you can read about it here: Startup Weekend London: “It’s the team, stupid”). I pitched a very simple idea, which actually took the form of a question: "If we were inventing the calendar today, what would it look like?".

I didn’t have the answer but it sounded pretty safe to bet that it wouldn’t look like the terrible, grid-based, paper-inspired apps featuring on the home screen of every single smartphone around the world. Look at your calendar app. Then look at Path. Then look at your calendar app again. And now you know that something needs to happen. That something is going to happen. 

This is the presentation we gave:

Indeed, at that very moment, two teams (that I know of today) were starting to work on the exact same problem - Cue in San Francisco and Sunrise in NYC - and have now released the first version of their apps. Which no doubt will become really amazing after a few iterations. Proving once again that no idea, especially one as simple, obvious and universal as this one, is unique, and that only its execution can be. 

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This may be stressful for entrepreneurs but it’s a blessing for consumers: it means that, at any given time, tens of teams around the globe are working on solving your most pressing needs (assuming they are big and universal enough. But if people are building purpose-built rings for thumb wrestling competitions, they will build everything). 

Notes

Startup Weekend London: “It’s the team, stupid”

It didn’t take me long to go back to the newly opened Google Campus in Shoreditch. 3 days after launching, it was already hosting its first event - its big conference/event space looking more and more likely to become a focal hub for the tech community in East London. 

Startup Weekend had the privilege to inaugurate the space, and did so in its typical grand manner - with over 150 wannabe entrepreneurs attending. With 250 local chapters, this organisation has become a proper institution, another evidence of how mainstream entrepreneurship has become.

Build something that people want. Fast.

The idea is simple: you have 48 hours to put together a team and build the prototype of a product.

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