I'm an experienced web developer, but somewhat new to the startup world. I've consulted for some tech startups in the past, and of course started the Drupal shop where I currently work.
I recently signed up for a local Startup Weekend event, and was wondering if anyone had any tips for getting the most out of it.
Even if you have a weak idea, pitch it. It's a great exercise and will help people to recognise you later.
Stay away from projects that have already started. Somebody is looking at startup weekends as a way to get "cheap workforce for a weekend".
Don't look for interesting projects, look for interesting people. Interesting ideas are everywhere, and will just die after the weekend if nobody works on them. Interesting people are precious during and after the weekend.
Definitely come prepared with a few ideas in mind. Jot little details about each one so you can be prepared to elaborate on a certain project.
Be optimistic and be ready to give advice and suggestions to others. At the same time, tear down their ideas and look for the weak points in order to help make the project stronger.
It is because of people like Franky B that about a quarter of the meet-ups that I have gone to have been a complete disaster. Come with a variety of great ideas, if you are very fond or involved with one, maybe keep that to yourself.
I personally would be quiet about any good ideas i might have of my own. Id use the event to make friends, get introduced to new people. I would also see it as a good event to "Borrow" some good ideas for future projects.
I tend to think more as a money hungry entrepenuer these days and less as a web developer. I learned a while ago that developers are a dime a dozen, a nickel a dozen if you offshore. The important value is building a business.
Take the best idea, and hook up with some developers that have no intention of ever owning their own business and build a product by yourselves, market it, and make some $$$.