When to start…

By: Richard Michie

Having ideas is easy, I have about a million a day, most are useless. But every now and then there’s a good one, ideas are like that.

That idea that sticks and keeps gnawing away at you is the one you really need to do. Over time it’ll distill until you can’t keep it in any more. That’s when you need to start.

That’s what happened with Bettakultcha. Like you, I’d sat through a million and one death by PowerPoint meetings, and had a hand in putting a few together too. One excruciating one I remember was 200 slides long and full of detailed bullet points and diagrams, it took three people several weeks to put together for a big meeting with a client.

The client arrived and dissapeared with the MD and planning director for about three hours. When they emerged I asked how far they’d gotten through the monster slide deck?

‘About slide five…’ was the answer.

There has to be a better way.

So after meeting Ivor Tymchak, who had similar thoughts but came from a different angle, Bettakulthca was born.

It’s a very simple idea that seems to have caught on in Leeds, Bradford, York and Manchester (so far).

We find people who have a story or passion to share, anyone can give a talk. We don’t vet them at all. Each speaker does however have to stick to three simple rules:

  • 20 slides
  • 15 seconds each slide
  • NO SALES PITCHES

So far there have been over 40 Bettakultcha events, with over 300 presentations and 5000 audience members. Safe to say it’s doing ok.

Back to the point

To get back to the point. We started Bettakulthca because we wanted to, there was no one to ask. We didn’t have any budget, sponsors or backers – and still don’t.

What we did have was a passion to get this going, and of course each other to keep pushing the idea forward.

We begged, borrowed – stopping short of stealing – including:

  • A start up film crew, thanks Mark Dolby and John Popham
  • Projector – thanks to Mike Chitty
  • A venue – Temple Works
  • Loads of people who like talking.

Next part was to create an email, blog and twitter account. Stick some content up on the blog, fire up Eventbrite to handle tickets and get some influential people on twitter so get as exited as we were, thanks Phil Kirby and Emma Bearman

From there we snowballed, we made up the event as we went along, learned on the night. Tweaked, changed bits, had small disagreements and developed bettakultcha so much that we’re now approaching our fith year doing it.

We’re still not sure how we got here, but if we’d never started, we’d never have found out.

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