Georgetown, South Carolina recently had its first ever Startup Weekend. It was also the first Startup Weekend in South Carolina. Great news, for the local area entrepreneurs. We (Startup Chucktown) were unable to make it there, due to scheduling conflicts, but we hope to make it to the next one they host if possible.
If you are unfamiliar with Startup Weekend and their events, they are structured to bring people together in teams under specific business ideas that are pitched at the beginning of the event. After a fast paced weekend of brainstorming, building and collaborating the ventures are pitched again at a panel of judges and prizes are awarded for the best ideas and presentations.
The reason I am just now writing about it is that Georgetown has become a talking point in a recent Inc. Magazine article about collaboration (How Collaboration Can Spur Execution). I encourage you to read the full article as it covers some good points.
The main point that I want to touch on that is also mentioned within the article is Embrace Collaboration. This goes back to my college education in the Industrial Design program at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). We were encouraged to collaborate early on foster teamwork. There was another point that came out of our collective brainstorming.
Many designers, entrepreneurs, scientists and others are very worried about others taking or stealing their ideas. This is some what valid, however, collaborating is more beneficial to creating the end result instead of continuing to hold onto an idea that never gets out and benefits others. Class projects brought this fallacy to light. If everyone is trying to create the same product, they will bring their own perspective and ideas to the table. Even if you openly discuss features you want to include and someone else finds them valuable, they will not be executed in indentical fashion.
Open yourself up to having someone examine your ideas from another perspective, chances are higher that they will bring additional value to your existing concept. They may expose a weakness that you can fix before continuing further development. The other point I want to bring across is that ideas are simple (even complex ideas) compared to bringing an idea all the way to a marketable product. Many people will not want to put forth the effort needed into creating an existing product or service when they do not have the correct skills or network to do so.
Put yourself and your idea out there. You will be amazed at who will want to help you succeed.