Startup Weekend, 2019 Cluj-Napoca

53864679_2072081076181207_3201074619318534144_o Executive summary:

With the experience of just one hackathon behind me, I decided to take part in this event. I really didn’t have much to lose so I said why not?

Unfortunately, my team didn’t even place and I’m still salty.

What was this event?

StartupWeekend was a weekend-long event focused on getting your idea off the ground. Essentially:

  1. Pitch your idea
  2. Get voted on
  3. Create a team
  4. Make something happen
  5. Get buy-in from the judges

Although I made it far, my idea still failed to get buy-in from the judges. We fell short and my team did not place. We failed to win.

It doesn’t end there though. We do have something to show for it.

Play Store.jpg

Yeah that’s shopped.

Some takeaways?

My perceived ideal route to success in these events?

  1. Appeal to the crowd’s needs & leverage your network to pass the voting stage. Sell yourself.
  2. Assemble a team. Small teams are easier to manage.
  3. Identify judge pain points.
  4. Pivot – focus on providing value to those pain points. (where I failed)
  5. Refine your idea:
    • Feedback from your team
    • Feedback from mentors
    • Feedback from judges
    • Repeat
  6. Present your product.

Why am I salty?

Although this route may help you succeed, it enables teams to move forward with ideas that resolve pain points from representatives of a small portion of the market. These representative (judges) are human and they each have their own perspective of the world, which has potential to be limited in the field that you want to work in. One of the judges really emphasized that we should expand to the global market for maximum potential.

My idea was in a field where the judges had little to no experience.

Online dating.

I recognize that I could have pivoted and appealed to the judges to win, but then what would my idea become? My idea would become a representation of the pain points from a demographic that is of a different generation.

The market (generation) that these judges represent don’t have urgency to develop innovation in the field that I appeal to. As such, they failed to see value in the idea.

Facing this predicament, I had 2 choices:

  1. Pivot and represent a smaller market
  2. Move forward and fail hard

I decided to take option 2 and I am glad that I did.

Any feedback is more than welcome 🙂

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2 Responses

  1. The idea sounds great and so far it looks quite well, here are some questions, observations and maybe some ideas/perspective from me, keep up the good work:

    1. What’s the maximum time limit for 1 voice message? What about for a persons description?

    2. In text it’s easier to scroll back to check history and find desired msg’s, how would one do this in voice format? in the alpha presentation, the squiggly lines looked the same will that change for easier distinction from voice msg to another?

    3. Why not also make the names and “titles” voice-able? instead of the text amanda, they could just say “Hey I’m amanda, nice to meet you” in a pleasing voice?

    4. How does one “like/swipe right”? in the alpha presentation those were just screenshots which didn’t necessarily show the process of choosing who you’re interested in.

    5. Will all the application eventually be voice controlled? Like certain words execute certain commands like siri/alexa/etc?

    6. Maybe as an option, instead of displaying pictures, why not let users describe themselves? “I have blue eyes, blond hair. Currently wearing a ginger beard. I’m not necessarily fit but i’m getting there”, basically the equivalent of not putting any pictures of yourself on tinder, but sounds like an interesting approach maybe?

    7. that pink is seriously bothering my eyes, but maybes that’s just me xD

    8. will it be voice ONLY or a text option will also be available if needed? let’s say you’re in a noisy bar or at a meeting with lots of people and you just want to check out the dating app, on tinder you could just write a fast message and close the phone, the voice chat might prove a bit difficult in this sort of situation which isn’t that uncommon i think.

    9. Will the sounds eventually/ever to be editable in the future for funsies?

  2. 10. While it does sound cool, doesn’t mating call maybe imply something more than dating? 😕

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