So, I participated in Startup Weekend Bloomington this past weekend, and it was absolutely amazing!
Before I really get into my experience, I have to thank EVERYONE that participated. The organizers, the other participants, the judges, the speakers, the mentors, the people who dropped off the food, the IU Innovation Center, seriously, everyone!
I have to especially thank my teammates Robby and Aarik, Matthew Burris, Jessica Falkenthal, John Adamson, Paul Simacek, Chris Borland, Mark Elliot, Tim Frazier, Raj Kapur, Mike Trotzke, Brad Wesler, Troy Phelps, Bill Brizard, Ben Dalton, Jordan Rothenberg, Danise Alano-Martin, and Chris White. All of these people played an especially important role in the shaping of our idea, building a minimal viable product, and enhancing my amazing experience. I'm pretty sure every time one of these guys (or girls) came up to our table, our idea changed dramatically.
A very, very special thanks to Aarik, who told me to stop being a little wimp when I almost dumped the idea to join another team. Seriously, I can't thank you enough for that. We did a ton of work that weekend, and I would not have had half the experience if there were not only three people on the team.
Okay, enough sappy stuff.
For those who don't know, Startup Weekend is closed schedule event where you spend 54 hours (Friday evening - Sunday evening) starting a company. The event is heavily influenced by Steve Blank's Four Steps to the Epiphany and Eric Ries' The Lean Startup. It's an awesome weekend for someone who has an idea to recruit a great team, get feedback on their idea, and start talking to customers and really really building a product that customers want! You should definitely read these books!
They also offer awesome stuff - check them out at startupweekend.org.