So you have a killer idea, you have some skills that you’ve used to start creating your idea. Now what? There comes a time in most projects when you need help. Maybe you don’t have a certain skill and you can’t learn it yourself fast enough or well enough. It is time to find yourself some partners.
Web Startup Group
Coders are hard to come by in Provo, Utah. And by “hard to come by” I mean there’s a better chance of finding coffee for sale on BYU campus (aka impossible). For that reason, a club was created to bring together “web entrepreneurs” with the coders they are in dire need of: Web Startup Group. WSG takes place on the second Thursday of every month. It starts off with 2 presentations by experienced professionals or skilled experts. Then there are 1-3 presentations by those with ideas. Lastly, the floor opens up for all attendees to get up and pitch or inquire about anything for 1 minute. It is ran by the impressive, Matt Smith. Tonight, I was in the second set, presenting my idea for Bronzeberry.
The Silos of BYU
BYU is a large campus. Computer Science is on one end of campus, Design on another, and Business/Entrepreneurship on a complete opposite end. This is tough for me, especially since soccer is on that last and completely other end. The campus is a reflection of why I never chose a specific major. If I want to become an athletic web entrepreneur who breathes design and sips code, then I feel it would be wrong of me to limit myself to any 1 of these silos/majors.
However BYU is no different from any other University or company. People tend to associate with people that are the same as they are. There are various reasons for this but in the end, only 1 cure. Get outside of your comfort zone and meet new people. This is why I showed up to WSG. Little did I know that I would meet two of my future partners that night.
Kirk Ouimet was one of the skilled expert presenters who spoke before me. He spoke about his many existing and thriving web projects that he himself hand-coded. Amazing. Funny thing was, this was not my first time coming across his name. A year ago, in Nutrition 101, the class was supposed to attend class, take notes, and then review our notes together with our test groups. However, about 3 weeks into the class, Google docs with all the notes perfectly laid out began to spread. When asking my group when they wanted to get together they’d respond: “No need. Just check out Kirk Ouimet’s Google docs.”
After Kirk’s presentation at WSG it was my turn. I began my presentation by asking Kirk if he was the “Kirk Ouimet of Nutrition 101’s infamous Google docs”. He was. I publicly thanked him for the A+ I had received in the class. He chuckled and announced that he had came out of the class with a B+. He is a cool and killer smart kid. I got his contact info and followed up with him soon after.
Coders like Blood in Shark Infested Waters
As each of the guys before me got up and pitched their biz ideas, they would conclude by asking with there were any coders in the room interested in joining a team. None. None. None. My presentation of Bronzeberry went well. I went over the idea but also made it clear that I did all the design and front-end coding myself. People were great with their questions and suggestions but I didn’t even bother ask about coders available.
Directly after WSG, I was approached by a kid, telling me he enjoyed my presentation, liked the idea, and was interested in helping. I hadn’t seen him pitch and he didn’t raise his hand when people asked about coders, so I asked him: “Oh thanks, I didn’t see you pitch, what do you do?” …He looked around carefully, leaned in and softly said: “I’m a coder.”
Hooraw! I got his contact information and we have plans to meet up later this week! His name is Ben Turley.
Connections are Not Luck
Some would say that my finding two awesome partners in one night was luck. I would disagree. To me, luck is preparation meets opportunity. I had been working on Bronzeberry and QR codes for months. I had real designs and sites up and built. I was increasing the number of connections I had to various silos by going to meetings and talking to everyone interesting. When the opportunity presented itself I was ready.