San Francisco Startup Weekend

I participated in a startup weekend event last weekend in San Francisco and, I have to say, I feel like I have learned so much in 54 hours.

Our team originally consisted of five members - myself, Steen Andersson, William Martin, Cyril Dorsaz, and Maurice Mauser. We were set out with a task of creating a digital photo frame. Our differentiator was that, instead of pulling photos from a memory card, we'd pull it wirelessly from Facebook, Picasa, iCloud, or whatever. After doing some market research, however, it turns out that similar products already exists and that the digital photo frame market isn't a particularly growing market.

The bulk of Saturday was spent brainstorming until we settled on an idea in the afternoon. We created GetSlide (, a tool to help presenters share their slide decks online and helps attendees annotate these notes online. By then, there were three of us left on the team: myself, Steen, and Will.

A few key points:

  • The biggest lesson I learned during that weekend, as obvious as it may sound, is that building the product didn't matter very much. It was the customer validation, surveying, the business model and how to acquire the first key customers that mattered.
  • Worked and met some great people.
  • I pitched three times during the weekend, which was some good practice.
  • I went through the frustrations of pivoting from one idea to another (and another).
  • I did surveying with another team called "Split my tab". We marched down the streets of San Francisco asking people if they had any problems in splitting their bills.

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