3 Day Startup

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This weekend I spent my whole weekend working.

Not on my rails lab assignment, which is usually how I spend my weekend, but working on a building a startup, in just 3 days.

The experience was so amazing. Even though I stayed perpetually tired, I learned so much. More than anything, I realized that it isn’t that hard to come up with a really great business if you know how. Over the course of the weekend I worked very little on writing code, and a lot more on understanding how to find and execute a problem worth solving.

The group that I worked with was focused on building an application that would connect farmers to restauarants. But–it didn’t start off that way. Originally, we thought that farmers wanted to be connected more to individual customers. There are already farmers making deliveries to individuals, so it seemed that the demand was there, and that this space was ripe for a little innovation. To prove that there really was a need, we were forced to get customer validation.

This was my favorite part of building a business.

Not only because talking to customers helped us to refine our business and concentrate more on the right things. But also cause….I got to be an anthropologist. Essentially, customer validation is fieldwork. And fieldwork is the main reason why I choose to become an anthropologist. So since we were looking to understand what farmers wanted, we chose to find farmers to talk to at the only place in Houston where farmers group together, a farmer’s market. That was so much fun! Did you know that they cook at farmer’s markets?

All I got to say is….. breakfast tacos….gourmet coffee, all made fresh from ingredients at the market…this is a must do in your life!

Food wasn’t the only fun part of course. One of the best parts of the weekend was talking with the mentors. They walked around on Saturday stopping by our room to see if they could help execute better. Listening to the ways that decisions were made, and what things to consider helped me to focus on the right way to get things done. Much like our teachers at the Iron Yard, these mentors acted as our guide, and graciously gave us golden nuggets to bolster our growth. I loved the learning, and I loved the chance to use skills that i have so painstakingly worked on. I got to do ethnography, which is something I haven’t done in awhile. And I got to mix my ethnographic abilities with my new programming abilities.

i felt like I had found my perfect mix.

So as far as our startup…we attracted the attention of a mentor. I am looking forward to working on this more with the team, and seeing how this goes. Our team of 6 worked so well. I feel lucky to have had the chance to learn and grow with them in such a short amount of time.

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I learned so much about the right ways to make a pitch, and how to understand when an idea is good and when it isn’t. Plus, I finally, finally came up with an idea for my final project (with a bit of help from my husband). So my exhausting weekend helped me to see yet another avenue.

I hope that this time next year, I will be able to be a mentor.

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