Lessons learnt from Organizing Startup Weekend

Some of you might know, I was part of the organizing team for Startup Weekend Singapore that took place last weekend. This is officially the biggest event I have organized so far. Before this, I am involved in doing N-House events and helped out in a couple of others, and Im glad the event turned out really well. A lot of people from the community said this is one of the best Startup Weekend around. =)

Key Takeaway:

People relations

The single most complicated variable in any equation, is the human factor. I guess for me, one of the biggest take away is know how to manage the people, one thing that I am obviously not that strong in. For Startup Weekend, I was incharge of Mentor relations as well as Marketing and Media Relations. One of the mentors that I managed to invite had some extra time as his consultation slot with others was making a little bit of noise. Some mentors spent a bit too much time with the teams, and kind of disrupted their work flow. Perhaps what I could have done better was to remind the mentors that their time is up when they are still continuing to coach the teams.

Perhaps my leadership skills could also be better improved. I’ve always acknowledged the fact that I have a soft spot when I am managing a team. I try not to be the dominant character and making sure that everyone feels on par with one another. This often caused me to take up more task and more time that could otherwise be used in something of a higher priority. However, there are times where you have to be stern and make your team members do things.

2 second respond time vs 6 seconds respond time

Sometime when a situation arise which wasnt part of the plan and requires immediate actions, instead of having a 2 second respond time, it is actually good to have a 5-6 second respond time. It trains you to explore all possible course of actions a little longer, as well as giving an impression that you are calm, something that people dont do often enough.

Dont plan too much. They dont fall in place anyway

Did a writeup on e27 for the event as well, so feel free to check it out: http://e27.sg/2012/03/12/startup-weekend-singapore-a-success-but-ideas-need-to-be-bolder/. Met some awesome people like Richerd, part of the earlier hires of HootSuite, and also finally get to meet Steven Goh in real life.

Meeting awesome developers, makes me wanna redo my college life and learn coding instead.