What startups can learn from the yo-yo community


I live in a world of dreamers, of passionate, hard-working professionals who want nothing more than do succeed, show the world they can come out on top, and make themselves better people in the process.

This world is full of hope, promise, pitfalls, hard-earned lessons and wild success stories. Those who make it big become heroes to those just starting out. And it’s a well-known fact that making the right friends, finding the right mentors and getting the right advice can mean the difference between success and failure.

I’m talking about startup life, something I became involved in four months ago. But also about my other life, which I’ve been involved in much longer: yo-yoing.

What do the two have to do with each other? You might be surprised. Having been involved in the community for years, I’ve seen everything from petty squabbles to fistfights over stolen tricks, designs and products, twisted recruitment schemes, arguments over outsourced Chinese manufacturing, bootleg knockoffs, and some of the most underhanded business deals and embargoes this side of TechCruunch.

But despite all this, the yo-yo community is as solid as ever, and the love we have for each other far outweighs the problems we have now and then. We strive to further yo-yo as a hobby, as a sport, and as a profession, the way startups work with incubators and accelerators so they can succeed in their chosen fields.

In this presentation, I’ll share a little of what I’ve learned being a part of both worlds, some of the difficulties they share, and how they can learn from one another to grow even stronger than they already are.

Clifton B

Website http://revisu.com/

I’m the creative co-founder of a startup at the Portland Incubator Experiment. I’ve spent the last four months of my life designing a web app, testing prototypes, and preparing to pitch my startup to hundreds of investors across the country.

I’m also a sponsored yo-yo player with six years and way too many hours spent with a string around my middle finger.

Also, I have spiky hair.