Why would you pay £1000 to visit Cardigan, stay in a tent at single figure degrees temperature and listen to lectures?
I have been asked the above question countless times over the past couple of weeks after excitedly telling friends that I would be attending the Do Lectures. Others told me that it would be a life changing experience. So with mixed feelings I decided to attend this years Do Lectures which had a startup theme. Details about the event were pretty sparse so I arrived with an open mind and ready to embrace 3 days of self nourishment.
Having now been through the full Do experience I can say that it definitely has changed the way I think about myself. I am normally very nervous when meeting new people, conferences always have me worried about how I will fill those gaps when attendees are encouraged to mingle. Couple this with the fact that I always think I am the dumbest person in the room, I braced myself for a difficult 3 days.
Upon arriving and checking in, the Do staff escorted me to my tent for a quick tour and then on to the bit I was dreading, the mingle area. To my surprise everybody was warm and friendly, and I am now feeling quite proud of myself for striking up conversations and introducing myself to anybody who would listen. This is not normal behaviour for me. There was either something special in the tea at Do, or David and his team had engineered an environment for people to feel relaxed and approachable. I am fairly certain it was the latter.
So along with hearing some very interesting and intelligent people speaking, attendees were encouraged to make things during workshops after the lectures. After a couple of team changes I settled into a team who were trying to solve the problem of children spending less and less time outdoors. A challenge which resonated with me. Over 72 hours, working with a fantastic and eclectic team something very special was conceived.
I won’t write about the solution (named doobox.me) just yet as we are still a long way away from launch, but I can’t wait to share the story of how with zero budget we managed to prototype an idea, create a desire for a product, build a working model of a sustainable business, and GET IT FUNDED. This is no mean feat but I truly believe that the team are a special and extremely talented bunch.
All whilst in a wet field in Wales. So to all of those doubting the power of conferences, meetups and get togethers, “Go do one”.