Go _______ Something

By C. Todd Lombardo Last week at the Startup Institute pushed the students to do something.

Product Track: Go Create Something

Sales track: Go Sell Something

Software: Go Build Something

Marketing: Go Market Something

The product team needed to create an offering for a set of stakeholders. At the beginning of the week we were told to choose one of three groups. Our group had to choose between weightlifters, wine connoisseurs, and street performers. We went with street performers and by the end of the week, after creating personas, brainstorming and iteration with critique and feedback we came up with a pretty solid offering, complete with product name, tagline, company the product would fit into and the operations and ecosystem of the offering.

The sales team had to go sell something. Literally. They had to go sell the Startup institute to local restaurants to acquire free lunch in exchange for something. That could be social media love, blog posts, exposure to a group of 70 motivated students, etc. Whatever it was they had to get us fed. Sounds a lot like a startup, eh?

The marketing team had to market themselves. Steve Robbins made each student introduce themselves and state why he should hire them. This pushed each student to consider how to position themselves, and how to best present to a potential target.

The software team was busy getting up on rails and building backends and they built a little app for the sales team to record the lunch deals they scored.

On top of that we were working together on cross-track projects that had to be presented at the Idea Jam Demo Day. The ethos of learning-by-doing is instilled into the culture of Startup Institute. Every day we have our standup and we are asked the following:

"What are you going to get done today?"

"What might get in your way?"

"Who can help you overcome that?

It is a daily reminder for us to get in the habit of setting ourselves, and each other, up for success. The 3 Cs of startup culture are alive and well: Collaboration, Creativity and Code.

What are YOU going to do today?