Over the past four days I’ve attended three different startup events. Each event served a slightly different purpose and had overlap in attendees. One of the benefits of a medium-sized tech startup community, like what’s found in Atlanta, is that there are a tremendous number of events and get togethers. Only, there’s a real risk in people attending events and equating that to making progress as an entrepreneur.
Attending events is for learning, networking, and helping each other. If someone’s repeatedly attending startup events, and not actually in the startup game, it becomes startup theatre: a form of entertainment and enjoyment with no advancement. Even worse, it can bring a sense of accomplishment that you’re doing something, when, in fact, no progress is being made.
Here are a few thoughts on startup theatre:
- Entrepreneurship is best learned by doing and accelerated by the quality teaching, mentoring, etc
- Attending events is a great way to get to know people in the community, but shouldn’t be a substitute for actually working on something (see 3 Next Steps for an Entrepreneur Without an Idea and Finding a Startup Idea)
- Accountability is an important component of a health startup community, and starts with repeatedly asking direct questions like “what have you accomplished in the last 30 days?” and “how close are you to product/market fit?”
Startup theatre is a very real challenge for startup communities around the world. Startup communities should work hard to maintain a bias towards action and not theatre.
What else? What are some other thoughts on startup theatre?