Lean London: 5 Things Your Startup Must Do in a Weekend

Posted by Pascale Scheurer on

Ever get the feeling everyone else will be having more fun than you at the weekend? You might be stuck in the office working, while your friends are off doing what really matters to them: snowboarding, clubbing, pursuing a hot romance… Well if you’re an entrepreneur – really an entrepreneur – it’s the opposite of course … what really matters to you is getting this idea, this project, this baby of yours off the ground. The weekend is just never long enough. The folks at Lean Startup Machine know this, so their weekend workshop starts at 6pm on Friday and pretty much doesn’t stop until Sunday night. Sure, they ask you to leave the building between 11pm and 9am so they can air the rooms after all that right-left brain flexing, but it’s pretty obvious no-one is going to sleep. So what’s it all about, and why should you go? Here are five reasons to join us in Camden on February 3rd:

1. Learn from others’ mistakes

Lean takes a dozen brilliant mentors from emergent game-changing companies such as Birchbox, PeerIndex and MadeByMany, and sets them loose on teams of oven-fresh startups. The aim? To help you identify your business assumptions and test them to destruction. And to suggest new ways forward when that process leaves you feeling stuck.

2. Don’t waste your time building a business that won’t succeed

Warren Buffet is quoted on the LSM website saying “If something’s not worth doing, it’s not worth doing well.” You need to be solving a problem that your target customer agrees they have. Reading through the blogs from previous LSM workshops in the USA, this can a pretty harrowing process since your precious, overdesigned baby will get tossed around with the bathwater, even thrown out completely. This is as it should be. You know in your heart that you have no time to waste building TumbleweedCity.com.

3. Get out of the building

Every entrepreneur needs to get out more. Not to hang out with friends and family (who always think your business idea is genius, or are too polite to say otherwise) but to talk to real potential customers. Your future ‘early adopters’. What is their ‘pain point’ you can help them with? Does your idea sound to them like Ibuprofen to their migraine? Or just another cool idea they can live without?

4. You need an intense workout

Yes, entrepreneurship is more like training for a marathon than running for a bus, and you need to put in regular, sustained effort to succeed. But you also need some hardcore tests in your training schedule – the ten-milers and half-marathons. You need to see how you perform under intense conditions and in a highly challenging, collaborative environment which you may not be used to.

5. Enjoy yourself!

There’s nothing like struggling through entrepreneurial design pain with a bunch of like-minded people to remind you that you love the struggle, and that it’s a big part of why you’re here, in the startup game. Pizza and beer also help, a lot. I apologise if that all sounds somewhat exhausting. If it puts you off, maybe you’re just not cut out for the crazy ride that is starting a business. You’re preparing yourself for a sustained mission in uncharted territory – and you can always sleep it off when you get to the office on Monday. Hope to see you there. I’ll be running the Ethical Startups team, which you are welcome to join if you don’t have a readymade business concept of your own – you’ll still learn the Lean methodology just as well, for future use on your very own startup. Pascale Scheurer is the founder of EthicalStartups, part of her ‘Intelligent Futures’ company. She has been an entrepreneur since the age of 9. Ethical Startups is her thriteenth enterprise. Its mission is to help bring success to innovative businesses that are ‘part of the solution’ to our global problems. And to meet great people, be inspired, have fun and make money doing it. This post is reproduced with permission from Pascale's blog.