Taking a startup from the idea phase, building a team, validating your assumptions, then developing a prototype, all in 54 hours, isn’t easy. But that’s precisely what ten teams in Hong Kong’s leg of Global Startup Weekend, focusing on Artificial Intelligence, managed to achieve.
There’s a multitude of startup events these days which are all looking for mentors. However, when Startup Weekend’s organizer Felix Wong asked me to mentor again, it was an easy decision to say yes.
The hard-working, passionate, and enthusiastic energy of the participants is contagious. Which left me feeling motivated to work even more efficiently on my own projects.
What some of the teams managed to achieve over the weekend was extremely impressive. I’ve seen many ‘successful’ entrepreneurs that aren’t able to produce the same results over the course of several months.
While mentoring the teams and helping them build their startups, three key entrepreneurship lessons jumped out at me and reinforced profoundly in my mind.
As the old saying goes, “the best way to learn is to teach.”
Build structure to enhance execution
Being able to execute and take action is one of the major stumbling blocks which hold back entrepreneurs from success. Ideas are plentiful, but being able to execute on them isn’t always easy.
I meet entrepreneurs on a weekly basis who tell me they have a ‘billion dollar’ idea. But when I ask them about their progress, they’ve barely made any traction, despite spending months working on their startup.
Startup Weekend intentionally creates the structure, motivation, and accountability to force participants to take effective action. These are also vital aspects we’re building at our Betatron startup accelerator which ensures our cohort delivers the maximum results from our four-month program.
Setting strict deadlines and keeping all team members accountable are both critical components which enable fast execution. It’s important to keep Parkinson’s Law in mind when setting goals – “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”
The shorter your deadline, the quicker you’ll get it done. You’ll be surprised about how fast you can execute when you have pressure.
Surrounding yourself with individuals that have the similar goals is also vital. At Startup Weekend, everyone from the participants, the organizers, to the mentors and the judges, all have the same goals – to build successful startups.
It’s often said that “You become the average of the five people you surround yourself with on a regular basis”. When you interact with people who have a similar mindset, your internal motivation to execute becomes that much easier.
If you’re struggling to build a business, ask yourself – are you spending enough time around successful entrepreneurs?
Read more: Forbes