Why Cloudspace loves Startup Weekend


(guest post by Tim Rosenblatt)

Cloudspace is proud to be sponsoring San Jose Startup Weekend for the second year! While we at Cloudspace build software with companies of all sizes, we have a fondness in our hearts for new companies, and this is our way of supporting the newest companies of all. We were a startup ourselves once, you know. 😉

Startup Weekends are a great time to test an idea that might normally get put in the icebox, and a good chance to get feedback from people whose skills can complement your own. Thanks to the Lean Startup movement, modern web coding frameworks, and a better understanding of the rules of business for the web, brainstorming sessions like Startup Weekend are more worthwhile than ever before.

Even the schedule is good. It’s surprising how much you can get done in 54 hours when you’re surrounded by others working just as hard. It represents one of my favorite approaches to getting something done — I think of it as the ‘strike team’ method, where you have a useful goal that’s ambitious, but achievable. You dig in for a short period of time and put all of your energy into reaching the goal, after which you take time to decompress and debrief. Whether you’re able to produce a solid plan for what the company will do and how it will make money, or you actually get an MVP online and start sending AdWords traffic at it, you can set the stage for something big.

To be honest with ourselves, the odds are against any one project becoming the next Facebook, but that’s okay. Even if the project itself doesn’t succeed, the skills learned by practicing under these conditions will pay off for years to come. Maybe it’s when an engineer gets a better sense of why one feature gets priority over another. Maybe it’s a product person finding out that they can get into HTML and do simple prototyping. The skills that people practice at Startup Weekend can teach something useful to improve every project they do in the future — and I’m all about continuous improvement.