Andrew Hyde – the person behind Startup Weekend

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This lovely piece was written by Miina Sikk, a SUP participant who came all the way from Estonia to found Meet In Chile

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“Sometimes you have to give up part of who you are to become who you’re meant to be.”

That’s what Andrew Hyde said. Who is Andrew Hyde?

Andrew Hyde is an entrepreneur who says that failure is worth of celebrating, and that solving the world’s problems should start with solving the problems of your own and of the people around you.

I met Andrew while he was visiting Start-Up Chile. My first impression – a simple guy who started doing what he likes, and apparently it came out that there happened to be a lot of other people also who liked the same thing.

Andrew is the founder of Startup Weekend, the organization behind the 54-hour weekend events where professionals – software developers, designers, startup enthusiasts, and others come together to share their ideas and to form teams.

One day, he thought that there are so many people who are interested in similar ideas, share common passions, would like to do something, realize their ideas, but… They never meet! He got the idea that – hey, why not bring these people together for them to meet each other, share inspiration, form teams, start companies.

Andrew started the project just as something fun to solve his own and his friends’ problems. He said that he thinks it’s important to start doing something for yourself and the people around you. This way you’ll be solving an actual existing problem. But what happened with what started out just as fun – the first Startup Weekend was streamed online and after that, people started writing Andrew to ask him organize the events in their home countries also. And now… Well, now there have been over 1,000 events involving more than 100,000 entrepreneurs from all over the world! Andrew himself says that for him, community is what matters the most. He is happy to be the founder of organization that has been the reason for people meeting other people who are constantly inspiring them, meeting future husbands and wives, meeting future life-long friends.

In addition to event organizing, creating communities, he is passionate about traveling. Before the Startup Weekend, he had never been outside of the U.S. But one day, he decided to leave behind his current life and went traveling for 3 years – with just a small backpack for laptop and change of clothes. He recommends everyone travel, saying that it adds a lot to your life, helps to figure out yourself. Although he doesn’t travel as much as he used to, he says that he still tries to move around as much as possible.

One thing that he recommends is that all the entrepreneurs celebrate the failure. He explains that failure, for example, teams breaking up, is part of the process of building a company. Andrew says that his policy is to celebrate it and that he even hosts celebration dinners for friends whose team just broke up. And for friends who didn’t get a deal with investor. Of course, these happenings usually bring a lot of negative emotions, worries, uncertainty, but still need celebration as a part of the process.

Andrew also shared his thoughts about Start-Up Chile, saying that he loves the idea, bringing together so many people with so different backgrounds and ideas, He also says that the Start-Up Chile co-working space CMI is one of the coolest and the most interesting ones he has ever been in (and he has been in 100 of them!).

Finally, he said, “If you are intellectually interested in what you are doing, you are in a really lucky place!” All the Start-Up Chile participants should feel that they are in a very lucky and privileged place, because this is completely true. Let’s not forget this.