tl;dr Startup Weekends won't lead you to create your next startup, but they may provide you with things that help.
Startup Weekends are a great way to dive into the world of startups. If you are even just remotely interested to entrepreneurship, in technology or anything, you should attend to at least one. Just to make your opinion, just to see how it is, it is an experience that is hard to describe. Just do one for you to fight the Impostor Syndrom, to prove yourself that you can do it.
Startup weekends are over crowded with this euphoric startup culture, get in it, but do not get to high, you may not found the Facebook there for a few reasons:
- You will team with people you do not know, some may be great potential partners, some will not be (most of them actually).
- You will be judge by a jury, not a market, which is completely different. The winning idea will be somehow consensual, but consensus is not necessarily what is expected in the real world. Niche markets are good money.
- You will work to present something to a jury, that is your only goal. Achieving a great presentation is a great beginning for a journey that is much more than that.
However I will attend at the next Luxembourgish Startup Weekend, because there are awesome stuff to do here:
- Meet people, people that share your interests with whom you will be able to experiment for a few days. Those people may be inside or outside of your team, the environment is very friendly and helps to make new connections. Like minded people with whom there is a fit are hard enough to find to keep those contacts in your LinkedIn for your current or next ventures. By experience, I would say that good contacts tend to last longer than projects.
- Work like crazy on a project, in a group. Which means training your stamina and communication skills and overcome difference to reach a common goal. Sleep deprivation, excitation and pizza make the whole thing an experience that is standing outside of what is commonly done.
- Get good interactions about what it is to create a startup, what you should focus on and makes it a success or not. You may not agree with most of these, but those discussions will battle test your ideas and opinions.