I’m most excited for play because I just realized how much my startup journey mirrors the process of play described in the first reading!
Imagine a group of kindergarten children, playing on the floor with a collection of wooden blocks. Two of the children begin building a castle, inspired by a fairy tale their teacher read to them.
This is just like how my friends and I first started with our ed-tech ideas at a hackathon. Instead of blocks, we were playing with pitch decks and a business model canvas. The fairy tales were the TED talks and stories of local entrepreneurs that we heard in the morning sessions.
They build the base of the castle and then start building a lookout tower on top. They keep adding more blocks, and the tower gets taller and taller. Eventually, the tower tips over and falls to the ground. The children start building again, trying to make the tower more stable.
Eventually we built our MVP and pitched it at the hackathon. It fell, we lost. After the hackathon, we kept on refining our product, adding and removing features, with our teachers (mentors) telling us the how & why of our small failures.
Meanwhile, another child starts telling a story about the family living inside the castle. Her friend extends the story, adding a new character. The two children go back and forth, continually adding to the story. As the castle grows, so does the story. As the kindergarten children play, they learn many things. As they build towers, they develop a better understanding of structures and stability.
Throughout the year, we kept joining more competitions, pitching different ideas, and failing and succeeding to varying degrees. The more we built, the more we played, the better we understood what underpins successful, scalable startups and what it takes to be an entrepreneur,.