I am so glad to have the occasion to talk about this amazing experience from the point of view of participants.
Everything started almost one month ago, when I received an email from London Metropolitan University Accelerator advertising this workshop for young aspiring entrepreneurs, organized by 3 Day Startup
in partnership with HomeAway UK
The aim of this experience was inciting people to generate feasible and innovative startup ideas regarding vacation and travel space.
I never participated in this kind of workshops, and I honestly had no idea about what to expect once arrived there, but I applied!
Sometimes you must be a bit naive and brave to take the risk.
Lesson 1: Be able to introduce yourself
This first meeting took place on Monday evening to introduce the organizers, company data, vision, mission and future perspectives, in order to give us one week for marketing research, preliminary brainstorming and individual concept generation.
Thanks to the bootcamp we had the occasion to start meeting our possible colleagues, sharing indian delicatessen, drinks and inspiring chats.
I would like to talk more about this point, because I admit this was the hardest part for me. Everything was new!
For the first time I had to present Gloria the designer and no more a product designed by me, discussing with people from different fields, ages, backgrounds and interests.
In London I learned to take quick decisions and how to adapt myself to different situations. It takes me half an hour to understand that if I was standing in a corner I was just losing the occasion to introduce myself and create new relations.
An extremely crucial point for an entrepreneur is to be able to present his skills and show the potentialities of a collaboration. You are going to create your own network and being shy means not to trust in yourself, who wants to work with someone who can not even rely on himself?
Lesson 2: Rely on teamwork
The first day was dedicated to ideas generation.
We split in small groups of three members each in order to spur each others during a brainstorming and start developing concepts that we consequently voted to underline the four more interesting ideas.
At the end of the day we started working with the group we liked most,
refining the idea and designing the plan for the second day, where we had to deal with potential customers.
February 6th – Second Day
Lesson 3: Never give up!
Focus of the day was the potential customers discovery.
During our morning meeting 3 Day Startup team gave us some directives on how to collect valuable data in interviews and surveys.
And now comes my favorite part of this experience, we literally plunge into the road to interview people between Victoria Tube and Coach Stations.
Strong from my experience during the MA I was keen to interview strangers, but we faced the first difficulties since the beginning.
The first round was really unsuccessful because our questions were suggesting a problem we supposed our users could deal with, but this was not the reality of facts.
More then half of our group lost passion and willingness to keep working on an idea apparently ruinous, but two guys and me decided not to give up.
If you trust in your work you have always to be able to start again from the beginning as many times as it deserves.
So we decide to let our respondents narrate their experience in vacation and rental space, involving them in the communication because they were happy to share with us their holiday memories.
This was extremely fruitful for us because users suggested the real problem.
The booking process seems to be more user friendly and easy than what we expected but the gap was the organization of groups travels when different people need to arrange several criteria, from location to transports and services.
Lesson 4: Share your no-more-so-stupid ideas
I honestly have a vague idea of what really happened the last day, I am just sure we worked so hard not to realize the time passing.
I have a note of merit for my temporary colleagues, we easily split the job according to our skills and roles to speed up the process and create an efficient presentation of our ideal platform.
The variety of our backgrounds gave us the opportunity to figure out our product from different perspectives and to show its potentialities thanks to an incisive pitch, a quick and direct to the point presentation completed by easily understandable mockup on how the platform works.
The panelists attending the presentation of final pitches gave us lots of valuable feedbacks, and we were really glad to receive comments directly from members of the Management Team, including Mariano Dima, Global Chief Marketing Officer, journalists, mentors and investors.
I highly recommend this experience to those people, students as well curious or even established business owners, who are interested in startups generation, fond of challenges and keen to work in just three days with someone unknown. You will realize how precious these contacts might be in the future and how powerful this sort of collaboration could be also in a short amount of time, thanks to the variety of skills shared in the team!
“Share” is the keyword for the entire weekend.
Each of us needs to understand his role and being able to share his ideas in the group. Do not pretend to succeed by your own and do not be so egocentric to think your “stupid” idea is better then any other ones, but let your team join forces to push it forward. They will never steal your “stupid” idea but together you will generate a feasible concept you never expected.
Thanks 3 Day Startup team to teach us how to believe in our efforts,
thanks HomeAway for giving us the possibility to take part in this challenge and
thanks to all the participants especially to my team members Jonathan Povey and Vikramjit Singh.
Here my recent interview at London Metropolitan University Accelerator regarding this experience.
If you are interested in taking part in the future 3 Day Startup just apply here