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Start a Business in Five Days

Get your company going in just 54 hours. That’s what many businesses have accomplished by condensing their ideas and pitching to local entrepreneurs and investors.

What’s the Latest Development?

A three-day event that has traveled to over 120 cities encourages individuals and groups to condense their business ideas and pitch to local entrepreneurs and investors. Called the Startup Weekend, the event has already aided the creation of hundreds of small businesses. The creators of Zaarly, a mobile app that helps users look for specific products and find nearby sellers, have learned that releasing your product quickly can help you take advantage of early adopters’ suggestions.

What’s the Big Idea?

Here is a quick profile of other companies that benefited from Startup Weekend: The creator of TripLingo, a translation app for travelers, received lots of interest but without a team of solid creators, nobody was willing to commit funding. Shortly after building a team, the project received backing. The creator of Planely, an app that connects travelers on the same flight at the airport, changed his company from one focused on the general public to concentrating on business travelers.

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It’s plain to see that I’m an optimist, sometimes more than is socially comfortable. The ease with which I dismiss the disastrous economic decline above serves as one example of that. I wrote that the recession will benefit our political system, and, before I cut this line, as having “rewarded our company for methodical execution and ruthless efficiency by removing competitors from the landscape.” I make no mention of the disastrous effects on millions of people, and the great uncertainty that grips any well-briefed mind, because it truly doesn’t stand in the foreground of my mind (despite suffering personal loss of wealth). Our species is running towards a precipice with looming dangers like economic decline, political unrest, climate crisis, and more threatening to grip us as we jump off the edge, but my optimism is stronger now than ever before. On the other side of that looming gap are extraordinary breakthroughs in healthcare, communications technology, access to space, human productivity, artistic creation and literally hundreds of fields. With the right execution and a little bit of luck we’ll all live to see these breakthroughs — and members of my generation will live to see dramatically lengthened life-spans, exploration and colonization of space, and more opportunity than ever to work for passion instead of simply working for pay. Instead of taking this space to regale you with the many personal and focused changes I intend to make in 2009, let me rather encourage you to spend time this year thinking, as I’m going to, more about what we can do in 2009 to positively affect the future our culture will face in 2020, 2050, 3000 and beyond.

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