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As a fellow who is quite late to the whole blogging and social media scene, I have a lot of catching up to do. But I have been following a lot of blogs since long and one thing essential to success is networking. So I thought I’d give it a shot as Melbourne has loads of networking events for just about anything, ranging from entrepreneurial Silicon Beach drinks to Twitter user meet-ups. So I started attending all of these events just to meet new people. Today, I went to the Melbourne Twitter Underground Brigade. It’s a fabulous event and I think it’s a must attend for everyone who uses Twitter to attend. Special shoutout to the organisers and Michael Specht

 

Being my first event, and me being only 20, I didn’t have much to talk about with others except for computer science. Which brings me to the interesting part of the meet up. For the first half of the event, I sat down with computer science intellectuals with Ph.D.s and years of experience. All of them had one thing is common, although they had great paying jobs, it wasn’t what they wanted to do. They all wanted to work on something they felt passionate about. And that they did, on the side, since years. They all were working on pet projects, which they planned to launch “soon”. They were re-coding it, optimizing it, pythonizing it, and testing it. None of them had launched their product yet. But for the other half of the event, I was sitting with computer science newbies, who knew bare bones of HTML and were just out of university. Yet, they had launched their third company. Their plan was simple: they came up with the idea, outsourced the development, launched the prototype and interated with changes and improvements. And they’re doing millions worth of business. 

 

It was nice to see this contrasting view point of startups at the same event, though it wasn’t strictly an entrepreneurship event. As someone who is new to entrepreneurship, I found this amusing. On the one hand, I understand what the computer science people are going through. We love to ship perfect code: no bugs, full integration and scalable. We inherently like perfection, but it’ll take us months to churn out that perfect application. I think we keep on developing software and adding features for the fear of failure. A lot of people, especially people new to entrepreneurship, fear failure, the humilation that comes with it. Which is where rapid prototyping seems so tempting. Failure is an integral part of it, but the point is to learn quickly from failure, fix it fast and do it all over again and again. Therefore, for a startup, getting the product out of the door is half the battle won. I’ll always be prototyping my code, what do you suggest? Perfect Shipments or Rapid Prototyping?

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