Startup Institute Boston: Four Week Retrospective

Reflections on four weeks in the Spring 2013 class of Startup Institute Boston

TL;DR — Consider Startup Institute if you’re looking to change your life.

It’s been just about a full month since I began the product design track with Startup Institute Boston (formally Boston Startup School) and I can confidently say it has been a good experience so far. I look forward to the final four weeks.

Going into the program, I was a little unsure what I was getting into and initially chose the development track. After some self reflection and discussion with my always insightful partner, I opted for the product design track. A large part of this program is about finding yourself, who you are, what you love, and what/where you want to be in the future. Time and again I have returned to design and building for the web because it is truly what I enjoy and what makes me happy.

We have had an impressive number of industry professionals, founders, CEOs, and more, come in to teach and talk openly with us. Hearing the various stories of how a founder built their company up, and being able to ask them any questions we want has been eye opening. The other thing that has surprised me, and given me some confidence, is finding out that I am a strong contender in the product design group with my front-end skills. Much of what the instructors have taught us, I have learned in some capacity either on my own or through my background in industrial design.

I’m not familiar with startups and the culture behind them, that part has been a learning process for me. The notion of “dating” a company, to find a good fit, has been brought up numerous times and so far seems to be holding true. I have been approached by a couple founders simply by connecting with them through a current employee or short introduction email. Was it really that easy all along? Beyond “designing my career”, building my network is one of the strongest parts of this program for me personally.

There’s so much more I can say but for now I will leave it at this: if you have an inkling to change jobs or get into a startup, then consider the Startup Institute.