Know Your Tools

Startup Weekend is a battle. There is no time to familiarize yourself with tools in the heat of battle so be prepared to use what you know best and leave everything else at home. Let me familiarize you with my weapons of choice:

  • Google Docs (real-time collaboration) – Essential to working well as a team
  • Skype (chat) – Sometimes you do need to IM even if you’re in the same room
  • Github (source code management) – Code as a team
  • Ruby on Rails (web framework) – Build your core apps quickly
  • Bootstrap (UI libraries) – Style your apps quickly
  • Heroku (cloud hosting platform) – Deploy your app quickly
  • Unbounce (landing pages) – Have a non-technical person setup a landing page
  • Prezi (presentations) – Powerpoint is for losers
  • Dropbox (cloud storage) – Share files within the team

The tools you use can depend on the composition of your team. For example, if you don’t have enough developers, consider just using Balsamiq to create mockups but spend more time on doing customer validation and putting together a winning business model. Tools will get better over time so stay ahead of the game by taking the time to checkout the latest and the greatest. If a tool just isn’t getting it done, it’s time to find a better one–if you can’t find it, maybe you should build it.

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