Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Breaking My Habit, Day+6 +7 +8: Jakarta Startup Weekend July 2013

Jakarta Startup Weekend July 2013 is finally over!

I mentioned about this event several weeks ago, but if you haven't read it, here's the summary:

The concept for the event is quite simple. In 54 hours, participants are required to form teams and develop an IT-related startup idea. They will need to refine those ideas, validate it with potential customers, find the business model, and most importantly, make the simple prototype for it (either a mobile app or website). At the end of the 3rd day, each team will need to present their ideas in front of several judges, who will then select top 3 teams based on their business model, customer validation, and execution (technical and design-wise). 

I have no idea what are those judging criterias...

Anyway, the participants are categorized into 3 types: a designer, developer, and non-technical. A designer designs, developer writes the codes, and non-technical person is usually the businessman type, the ones with the most experience when dealing with business aspects of a product. I picked the non-technical role, as I am not a designer nor developer. Well, I'm not really a businessman, but I think that's the closest thing I can manage to be.

The event took place in @america, Pacific Place (1st day) and Prasetiya Mulya Business School Cilandak (2nd and 3rd day). 

Prasetiya Mulya Business School

The class where the event took place

Nice spot for hanging around
A lot of cool ideas were pitched in the event. After carefully selecting the ideas, I decided to join 'Sekolah Pengembangan Diri' team. Our team's idea is to create a platform where trainers (motivational trainers, etc) could post their content and the viewers (people who needs access to those content) can get it for free. The leader of our team was actually a trainer himself, and he showed his crowd-grabbing skills in his final pitch!

He really looks like Ryan Higa 

Too bad our team did not win the game, but winning was never on my check list in the first place (the winner definitely deserve their winning). My intention was to have fun, meet new people, and learn new stuffs. In those aspects, I have no complaints.

Some of the things that I learned in these past 3 days:

- How a startup company is made. Start with your idea, 'match' it with what the customer needs (validation), refine the idea when needed, find the appropriate business model and revenue stream, create the financial model, then execute the plan and see what happens. Check out these series of video if you wanted to know more.

- Idea is not everything. A good idea does not guarantee a successful company. A normal idea with good execution is better than good idea with poor execution.

- Release early, release often. The kind of strategy that was used by Natali Ardianto, CTO of Tiket.com, when developing his booking company. The idea is not to spend too much time polishing the product (long development time) and instead release it early, polishing the product along the way using customers' feedback.

- Monetization is important for all kinds of businesses. You're creating a company, not a charity foundation. 

- Be not afraid of failures. It's part of being successful. They even say that "Your first startup is going to fail" to emphasize that it is perfectly fine to fail on your attempts, as long as you get back right on your feet. 

In all, meeting a lot of great people from different background and listening to the coaches criticizing your ideas are really humbling experience. It puts your mind in the right perspective, that there are still soo many things each of us could learn, potentials we haven't tapped.

Thanks Grupara for holding this event, I'll see you with my own idea next time!

Got this book from good guy Amazon Web Services. Thanks guys!