Over 15 years ago, our co-founders, Tony Chu and Kevin Liang, decided that they would make the leap into the scary, yet exciting startup world. Over the weekend, as the newly appointed online community manager who’s interested in this new “world,” I attended my first Startup Day (Twitter: @startupday) in Seattle, WA, where I had the opportunity to hear 16 amazing 20-minute talks from extremely bright entrepreneurs including the keynote speaker, Eric Ries (On Twitter: @ericries), author of the new entrepreneur book called The Lean Start Up: How Today’s Entrepreneur Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses (2011). Eric is also known for his popular blog Startup Lessons Learned. He’s a great, charismatic guy and I even got my signed copy:
While I could spend my time going back through my own hashtag that day over at #startupday, I’d like to focus my article on a topic that’s always on top of mind here at Canadian Web Hosting Ltd.: community.
What made this event so interesting? In my opinion, it revolves around three main areas related to community:
The people are everything whether you’re looking internally within your company or externally to your peers or even competitors. This event gathered like-minded folks who either were thinking of starting their own startups or were already in business for themselves. There are already multiple commonalities that are left unsaid. Going into this event, you already know that these people are natural leaders. Let me explain: they’re extremely driven by a true passion for helping customers and solving every day problems. They don’t do it for money, they do it because they care about the end users. We care about you. Startups create and ship products every day with this hardcore mentality that the more you put in, the more rewards you’ll get it and the more your customers will appreciate it. You could feel the energy flying around the room; everyone there was so bright, sharp and intelligent – there was no doubt about that. The hundreds of attendees were restless to make a change, eager to come up with the next big idea, but also ready to help one another which brings us to our next point.
2) Peer Support
One of the benefits of attending this event as a startupper was: the advisor’s sessions. In these sessions, you could sign up for 20 quick minutes with a community leader to get more information concerning your current concerns with your already-created or soon-to-be startup. I had the chance to sit in with Berry Zimmerman, a true connector in the Pacific Northwest. He recommended a book called The Entrepreneur Equation by Carol Roth and mentioned that if you weren’t ready for the leap, you must read this book to uncover that answer. This book is it! It was almost endearing to see how supportive each leader were to openly give advice the way they did. It’s remarkable!
3) Common Goals
In the end, no matter what each startup is trying to focus on. Their products are created to help our society. This common drive in the room was apparent , not only in the lobby but even on stage, the content among side conversations or being taught to us were invaluable in understanding the do’s and don’ts when creating or leverage a startup.
GeekWire, a famous tech blog in the Seattle area, ran some great interviews asking two very blunt questions as they put it in their recent article. “What’s the biggest hurdle you face as an entrepreneur?” And: "Why did you decide to take the startup plunge?" A few entrepreneurs shared their views on camera for 20 minutes each.
To show our support to this vibrant tech startup community, we are offering discounts to any of the Startup Day attendees. This offer ends at the end of September by reaching me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru