We began this blog in order to help people get their business started. At the time we were eager to start doing something. We picked the name yourspinout.com and ran with it. We could see the logic of the name for what we wanted to do; helping people spin out their ideas into something that is tangible and real. Stop talking and start doing. We also realised that whatever we do is an ongoing process and that we’d need to stop, think and realign our approach as we learned more about what we’re doing and where we wanted to be working. It’s an ongoing adventure as a startup of our own and we need to eat our own dog food as the saying goes: live what we preach, use our example to teach others. The upshot is that we made a small mistake. The name isn’t quite right for what we want to do and the brand we want to promote.
It all goes back to Deming and the PDCA cycle: plan, do, check, act and repeat… Continuous improvement would be another way to look at it. As long as we make regular checks on what we’re doing, then that’s fine. As long as we do small increments, then we’ll never make big mistakes and it will all be ok.
A mistake is ok. Woohoo! It’s a learning opportunity. We realised belatedly that in order to fit in with other parts of our organisation so that we can use this as an umbrella concept for all of us, that we’d have to do too much ‘translating’ between what people expect from the phrase ‘your spin out’ and how we use the phrase. This would not be good, and would lead to confusion with mixed messages. So goodbye ‘yourspinout.com’ and hello ‘startupsexplained.com’ (and startupexplained.com too).
The new name ’startupsexplained.com’ will work well as a place for people to learn about startups. We’ll be providing information about startups as well as more specifically those startups based around software. As you can see from our pinterest pages our main emphasis is on personal development for founders and others in startups, service design tools and processes, agile software development and general start up tools useful to any new business.
So come follow us on the journey as we explain startups. Even better, feel free to join the conversation we’re offering.
Two events we like to support are both happening on the weekend of 7-9 March. Both of these events centre on helping people envision apps and services, which they’d like to see. Both events are there to inspire participants by what they learn and see happening at the events. These are events to explore and rapidly prototype ideas to see what’s possible and to put ideas out there to get feedback from people. These are places to come and hang out and try things with people. Yes, you might get an idea for a startup, and you might be able to spin out an idea trailed at the events into a real business, but that is not the goal of the weekend. The goal is to have creative fun with like-minded folks and explore the possibilities. It’s training for innovation.
This is the second time we’re running the Global Service Jam
, and the third time it’s been held in Aberdeen. The goal of this event is to have people come together to share their skills and rapidly prototype new services. The event theme is revealed on Friday evening, and after brainstorming service ideas we’ll form teams around this theme to develop services over the Saturday and Sunday. These ideas should be rapidly prototyped and taken to the streets to show to people and then revised based on what you learn. This is all about learning front of house skills as it were. If you’re normally someone who works in the back office and never meets customers, then this is your chance to get out there and see what the others do. This is your chance to better understand what they do and to help develop new ideas and try them out with people.
The National Hack the Government
events run by Rewired State are efforts to help the people build a better government by coming together with others to inspire and build the apps they’d like to see using government open data sources. You can get an idea of what others have done in the past by looking at the projects that came out of previous NHTG events. We had a small version of this in Aberdeen in 2011
when it was a one-day event. This year it will run over the Saturday and Sunday with us offering remote teams who can report back to the main group of folks in London. We’re hoping that some of the ideas gathered from the GSJ folks on Friday night will lend themselves to app ideas for the Saturday and Sunday.
This event will be a good mixture of service design, some agile development and a hack event where the focus is on ‘seeing what works’