StartUp Weekend: What Are You Waiting For?

By Griffin Jones, @GrifJones

The frightening thing about change is that the old is always destroyed before the new can replace it. We try desperately as a society to hold on to old institutions. We take any measure to prolong or revive the systems that made us rich in the Industrial Age. We ignore the truth that the world is a completely different place where those systems cannot be sustained.  Slowly, we come across that small group of people who just didn’t get the word. No one told them that we have to wait for a corporation or government to work on the problems that are right in front of us . Some people just do, create, build, repair. I have that temperament, but I need the talent of others for inspiration, activation, encouragement, etc. Startup Weekend is the perfect facility for those connections.

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We just completed our StartUp Weekend here in Buffalo, a city that should have been left for dead by anyone with the spirit of entrepreneurship.  But once again, an even smaller group of minds didn’t get the word that you can’t change  the culture of a city. A handful of people with artistic and entrepreneurial minds dedicated their time and talent to bringing this movement to Buffalo, and executed it without a hiccup. Those eight or so minds have now infected 120 minds with the idea that there is no reason to wait to start doing. The converts may not go forth with the same passion as those that started the idea, but some certainly will. That’s where momentum is gained. We have to fill in the ranks of those that have already done the hardest part–starting. Indeed, this is the only way society moves from one age to the next.  It’s time to think about the world in an entirely different way; that’s an incredibly hard thing to do. That’s why the visionaries go first. They need to chart the undrawn map for the rest of us to follow. It’s long past time to give up on the practice of supporting old institutions because they provided for us for so many years. There is no shortage of problems that we’ve barely even addressed. Doing what needs to be done rather than doing what used to be profitable is the best lay description of the transition to the next economy. It’s much easier said than done. But then again, that’s the point isn’t it?

Special Thanks to these folks and many others who I’m either forgetting or didn’t get the privilege of meeting:

Jon Spitz @JonPSpitz

Steve Poland @PoPo

Nicholas Barone @nb3004

Dan Magnuszewski @magnachef

Dan Gigante @dangigante