I really enjoyed speaking last night at Startup Grind Buffalo, which was part of a larger event called Startup Scramble and also part of 43North Week.  The week culminates tomorrow with awarding $5 million to a handful of startups competing in 43North’s business plan competition.  All award recipients are committed to operating their businesses here in Buffalo, NY for at least the next 12 months, which is great for our growing entrepreneurial scene.

Last night I was asked what Buffalo needs in order to thrive and the answer was easy; more startups and entrepreneurs.  Silicon Valley Bank’s 2013 Startup Outlook report noted that 91% of software technology startups would hire additional staff this year.  As I said to the audience last night, we’re the engine that drives economic development and the momentum has never been greater here in Buffalo and upstate New York.  The cumulative effects of entrepreneurship are transformative, and our regional efforts to strengthen the ecosystem are starting to pay off.

This morning our local business paper published a story about the upcoming 43North award ceremony where VC and long-time Buffalo evangelist Jordan Levy says of the competition that brought in entries from 90+ countries around the world, “Success will breed more success, and that’s the objective here.”

So we’re riding pretty high these days in Buffalo.

I don’t have that answer, and you don’t either. I like educated guesses and informed opinions, but those come in second place to insights gathered from your users. These days, we’re all about validated learning by getting the most basic solutions to the market as fast as possible – the MVP model.

Joel G (Buffer CEO) and his team at Buffer get it. He built and tested MVP variants instead of creating the “perfect” solution right out of the gates. Check out his journey here: https://medium.com/p/ef3c2d02dc51

I found this fantastic “wall art” at a local technology incubator here in Buffalo, NY called Z80 Labs. Investor Chris Sacca (https://twitter.com/sacca) drew it during a visit a few years back. I’ll take the free advice from someone who knows a thing or two about bringing tech to market.

Ship it!

Advice from @sacca

So, is it ready? Yes, it is! And once you change it, it will be again.