If you're like me, you don't run in tech circles. You don't have company CEOs as coffee dates, and you don't spend your free time on Arduino discussion boards. So how is it that I found myself trapped for three days in the basement of a Tech Museum (The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose) with these exact people?
I suppose it started when a friend sent me an email about Startup Weekend Bay Area Makers and I immediately signed up. I didn't think much about what I was signing up for. I only knew the event was local, during the weekend, and focused on making things. I'm a maker, so this would be a good program for me; I do make jewelry, after all.
I arrived at the museum on Friday afternoon with a friend (although I would have gone to the event solo), and from the instant I arrived, every single person I met was friendly.
But the participants were also interesting. And highly educated. And worked in Silicon Valley (with actual silicon). And made everything themselves. Which caused me to start to think, "who is going to take me seriously?"
I even had to make my own name tag at check-in
Slowly more participants joined the group until we became a team of eight. Eight strangers to be exact. We had a quick introductory meeting before getting down to business. I took a deep breath and looked around the room. Once again, I found myself sitting next to some of the most brilliant engineers, scientists (one of our members has a PhD in physics), and business consultants I'd ever met. And then there was me.
The tech creative process
The business development process
From initial concept to MVP (minimum viable product)
But then we won. The whole event - we were the judges choice and also the fan favorite. For once in my life, this left me completely speechless.
And I know that, at the end of it all, I care about making a difference. And I will continue to dedicate myself to service.
But also hopefully learn how to code.
Interested in joining a Startup Weekend? Check out the website to see if one will be taking place near you: http://startupweekend.org/