The How to Web 2016 Experience
We’re back from How to Web 2016, this full of energy international IT conference in Bucharest. It was a meaningful experience for our representatives – Cristi, Adrian and Irina and we’d like to share with you some of the thoughts they brought along regarding emerging technologies and the startup life.
This conference was overall a very nice surprise. We met great people from such different startups, with great visions and solutions to problems we all have.
We had a very nice surprise to see the number of international startups and the amplitude of the startup environment.
A second great surprise was to acknowledge how entrepreneurship is really embraced as a way of life, which doesn’t bare age boundaries or any kind of limits. We got to hear passionate people like Walker Colston – Senior Vice President a IXIA or Jon Bradford – Co-Founder of F6S, talking about their over 20 years experience as entrepreneurs and how they can’t imagine themselves working any differently. We loved Walker Colston’s suggestion that the tough startup days are the ones we’ll miss the most when things will get on a smooth track. And he’s probably right. The excitement and the hustle drive the kind of energy that pushes us forward. Thinking about it like this makes it way easier to cope with pressure, uncertainty and long working hours. It’s about the reason: building something on and of our own.
Another really nice surprise was to feel welcome and integrated into the startup community. Many of the attendees knew each other from previous events, but they proved opened and willing to get to know new people and startups. There wasn’t any competitive feeling as in conflict and tension, but more of genuine interest in learning about other people’s ideas, solutions, the way of doing things. We weren’t there to compete, but to learn from each other. And we did.
Which brings us to…
The things we learned
There was so much interesting, useful feedback, that it will take us days to digest, understand, implement it. But there are some bottom lines which we can draw at this moment:
1. Distance yourself from your comfortable environment and seek for “outsiders’” perspective on your product and business model. A lot of “A-Ha!” moments are triggered by simple, objective remarks.
2. Think ahead. Everything. Even before starting to build the product, think about growth, monetizing, getting investment, and hiring valuable people. Plan it, especially financially (here the cash flow planning comes in very handy). Once you start rolling, the snowball will just get bigger and you want to be prepared for whatever stands in the way, like running out of cash, for instance. Dan Kaplan, the owner of Threadling, pointed out how this is the number 2 reason for startup failure and which cannot be fixed by soft skills such as storytelling; it takes a solid, rational, number-approach.
3. Observe and analyze the overall business environment. We are all small domino pieces set to form an apparently random pattern, but everything is connected. One thing going on over the Ocean can affect the tiniest of the startups at the opposite edge of the world. “Information is power” didn’t become such a popular saying by accident. Having access to such an amount of information makes us responsible for using it wisely. Observe, understand, anticipate and plan.
4. No matter how great the product seems to you, it won’t succeed unless the users you address find it great, too. This is why we really ask you to give us your feedback about ThinkOut, to let us know how it feels like to use it, how it helps, what would it need to become a great solution for you.
There are many more things left to be said about this amazing experience, but, for now, we’ll let our thoughts to settle down.
If you have any questions or ideas you’d like to share, feel free to write to us; we’d love to hear from you.
Photo Credits: How To Web