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Why The Startup Bus Was Awesome

by Jonas Huckestein on March 14th, 2010



Team DormDorm.com at the Launch Party: Justin W, Amir, Justin I, Mick, Igor, Chris and me (Karolis is not in picture but he was awesome, too)

I’m happy. It’s a fantastic day and I’m back on a plane to SF. I can’t believe how amazing the Startup Bus experience has been for me and everybody involved. These are my fresh, unorganized impressions thus far :)

Why was it awesome? Because people who do such things are awesome! Example: The team put together the fantastic website and pulled an all-nighter after B***** deleted the entire thing one day prior to launch. Everybody got along fantastically and in the end, the bus probably launched more friendships than startups.

We left SF at 6am on Tuesday. At 7am we got a prep talk by Phil McKinney at HP’s executive briefing center and executive breakfast. We pitched over 20 ideas and came together in teams on the drive to LA where we talked to strangers. (and some dude tried to run off with Igor’s notebook) I can’t remember most of the next 40 hours; I was running an experiment on sleep deprivation.

Apparently everybody was really concerned about that (good times, though) and we had lots of technical problems and wrote lots of nutty code and stayed at this place and that and Elias drank four cups of Texan truck stop sauce. In the end, though, it all came together. We had six brand new startups. We arrived at a massage parlor with beer, girls and Josh Bear.

The following two nights of Austin were nothing short of amazing and I’d love to have stayed longer. The teams pitched in front of a fantastic VC panel and some teams are already following up on the ideas (definitely including us; We are DormDorm.com – the Hotels.com for summer dorm rooms).

Sooooooo… nobody took us and our startups seriously. We can’t create a startup in 48 hours. It will only be worth 48(x size_of_team) hours of work and the businesses will by construction have massive (black) gates to entry (instead of, you know, barriers to entry). I’m down with that and I won’t feed the trolls.

But understand this: The bus was a win for everybody. The sponsors and winners got heaps of great exposure (this, that and the other), the Buspreneurs got all the stuff in the next paragraph for free and we might just have inspired other people to go out and do things.

So what about the Buspreneurs? They got everything! Friendships, business connections, a new startup to work on, a fantastic and mostly hilarious time, personal insights, a broadened horizon, new skills, you name it! There is not  single one of us who regrets this trip and once we got going, we received fantastic feedback.

Here’s what I learned from The Startup Bus.

  • Randomly mixing technologies together will lead to disaster.
  • In the end, it will be ok, though
  • When all else fails, sleep.
  • Mental and physical constraints make you work harder and be more creative or grumpy.
  • 48 hours are longer than you think.
  • When it comes to decisions you’re passionate about, don’t make a compromise if you think it’s a bad decision. Nut up or shut up. Nobody’s gonna be passionate about the compromise. (this is an actual lesson)
  • Just do it.
  • Don’t'cha ever forget! We’re on a bus muda******.

Finally, big thanks to Elias Bizannes, the crazy aussie nutcase who came up with this in the first place.

Elias, you and the Startup Bus are the stuff that legends are made of.

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From → Entrepreneurship

3 Comments
  1. Karolis permalink

    Great to meet you Jonas. Loved working and partying with you. We shall repeat!

  2. Brandon permalink

    Jonas, great post. You were a huge part of the bus experience. Too bad we weren’t able to hang out more. Like Karolis said, we shall repeat!

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