What makes people give up their weekend along with hours of planning time to help make the ideas of others real? This blog post was originally going to be about why people participate in StartUp Weekend. After speaking to participants who were there to learn, network, test an idea and have fun, which are all great reasons to give up your weekend, I realised the story really lies not with the participants but with the volunteers.
What possesses people, in this case almost 20, to give up their weekend and hours of time before the event to make this whole extravaganza possible? What makes people spend hours planning catering, convincing sponsors to part with cash, to take photographs, edit videos and in my case tweet and write blogs? The answers really surprised and delighted me. The overall reason was because StartUp Weekend is a great idea and they want to support it. They want to support other people make their ideas real, most of the volunteers are excited to see smart people do great things.
So why am I writing this blog why did I give up my Friday night and half of my Sunday? Simply, it’s fun. It’s fun to see people take an idea, put out to the world and see what they can do with it. It’s great to meet new people, share a laugh and fight over the infamous NodePonies.
It is great to be part of something bigger. StartUp Weekend is global, with the first being held in Boulder Colorado in 2007. There are now events held all over the world, and according to StartUp Weekend’s Twitter feed there will soon my one in Tehran focusing on women as entrepreneurs.
Ideas and energy can change the world. I realise as I write this it sounds like a hideous cliche but if we do nothing, nothing will change. Events like StartUp Weekend are people getting together to do something to change something, whether it is themselves from employee to entrepreneur or someone who is normally passive to someone who is active or just to help others be brilliant and in doing so be themselves brilliant. Doing something (anything) where there is a chance to make a change in the lives of others, your local community, even your local or national economy is worth a weekend of your time. Oh and you get to meet others who are not exactly the same as you but like you want to support ideas, support others and discover what wonderful things we can make happen.
I’m not so naive to think that everyone is purely altruistic, there is networking and card exchanging going on. And that is awesome. People who volunteer and participate in StartUp Weekend should network, should try and talk to the folks with money and a possible leg up. Whatever it is we want to do, we all need to a network and at times a leg up. That’s the point of StartUp Weekend, to make connections.
StartUp Weekend Adelaide is just one of the great events, in Adelaide, being run by people of all ages that create opportunities for not only fun but in this case the possibility to start a business, meet a future collaborator, test ideas and know that you are not alone wanting to do something different.