The kinds of people who came to Charlotte Startup Weekend are a lot like you’d expect: developers, designers, marketers and people with big ideas. It’s always fun to meet with people like this- especially since my job involves pieces from many of these careers. Interacting with these types always teaches me something new.
At the same time, Startup Weekend could benefit from people outside of the typical attendees at tech conferences. Here are a couple occupations I’d like to see at the next Startup Weekend.
It seems to me that many groups have a struggle finding or understanding their target market. Some do research but it is at best anecdotal with a small sample from which large conclusions are sometimes drawn. This information affects not only the marketing efforts but also the all-important design. Someone with experience in market research could prove to be an invaluable asset to any team.
Many of the projects postulate that they can rely upon advertising to drive revenue. Rather than blindly guess, “We’ll monetize this through advertising,” wouldn’t it be great to have someone actively involved in selling advertising to provide reasonable understanding of income from advertising as well as expenses involved in advertising?
We are living in a material world and I am a material… well, you know what I’m getting at. Economists can do much more than understand the financial aspects of a startup. They can help a team understand what might motivate people to use the product in the first place- or have I seen the “Freakonomics” movie one too many times?
But this is a tech event? Exactly. A psychologist could help teams who are used to thinking of technology shift their focus to think about people who might use their technology. This could be a very helpful insight when it comes to design as well as marketing plans. They could also be an additional help in resolving conflict that inevitably occurs during a 54 hour long coding marathon.
This might be the liberal arts major in me talking here, but I think Startup Weekend could see a lot of benefit from a diverse range of people participating. I guess my point is: you don’t have to be a professional nerd to contribute to (and have fun at) the next Charlotte Startup Weekend.
David Zimmerman is a professional nerd, himself. When he’s not watching Star Wars or coding a new website, you might find him in his garden or hiking around North Carolina.