Flying to SF for Buildspace - here's what I learned.



This summer, I joined a virtual program called Buildspace for 6 weeks. It's a program (they call themselves a school) for wannabe founders to catapult a product into existence in just 6 weeks.

For me, I built HabitDuo.

Building HabitDuo.

It's a habit tracker that lets you track habits with your friends. It's sounded a lot more fun in hindsight though.

And because I finished the program, I was invited to fly out to SF and visit Buildspace in real life. And it was incredible.

Buildspace at SF.

The intensity, the collaboration, the absolutely crazy ideas I saw from founders around the world - all in one facility. I was hesitant to pay almost $1000 to fly over to the event, but I'm glad I did it. I met a lot of inspiring mentors there.

Coding HabitDuo.

Some dude even built a network of 3D-printable military drones that allows provides wallhacks to a user. Suddenly, every first-person shooter video game I've ever played felt like reality - because a junior studying electrical engineering was interested in augmented reality and drones.

The military drone.

Do your own thing.

On the last day, some of the founder friends I made learned that I flew here in secret. My parents are very adverse to doing anything that isn't school-related, so I didn't tell them about this trip. I just saved some money from my internships and flew out here. (They think I'm in my dorm back at the University of Pennsylvania.)

Everyone was shocked, but everyone thought it was awesome. I still remember exchanging fist bumps with like a dozen other founders. "Man, you're absolutely crazy, and I love that."

I didn't think it was that big of a deal. But to them, it was a big deal. It was a big deal to do your own thing independently, to do something that people tell you not to. That's the most important lesson I learned from this event.

You know, that little exchange was pretty meaningful to me.

I think every wannabe founder thinks to thsemvles, Am I the right type of person to be a founder?

That day was a little personal founder-market fit validation. Me, fresh out of high school, with no experience in the real world, was able to inspire other founders and have them believe in my future.

I discovered a good metric is for people to tell you that you're crazy. It's a good thing, that you're crazy. That you're crazy enough to do something that no one else would do, or could even imagine doing. That you're crazy enough to take a risk that no one else would take.