This is how the weekend began.

The hacking room

Its been a few days since the 48 hour coding grind that was the Launch Hackathon, and I think I’ve caught up on enough sleep to attempt a cohesive paragraph or two. Launch prided itself on being the largest hackathon ever, with 1,500 applicants. They didn’t all show, but it was certainly huge.

The hacking room

That room is where I spent the entirety of my weekend. From Friday to Sunday night, this was my home. No beds, no showers, just me, my onesie, and my laptop. 10 of the SVIP crew took part, split into 3 teams, so we represented the brand well!

I try to avoid “this is what I done did today” posts, and today’s is no different. There’s not much to tell without getting into technical details; we came up with an idea or two a week prior, and then worked hard on it for two days, with about 3 hours sleep on each. In the end we royally fucked up and realised with 4 hours to go that we wouldn’t have something presentable. So we pivoted (hence the title). We completely changed idea and, one man down thanks to exhaustion, tried to hammer that out. Predictably, we didn’t get anything to a presentable state there either, but hey, #yolo. I had great fun building it and learnt a lot along the way.

Working hard, or hardly working?

The winners, if you’re curious, essentially made Kickstarter for Startups which ain’t a bad idea by any means.

One of the things I found most interesting about the whole Launch experience and the week of planning leading up to it was how full of ideas everyone was. About 10 of us met up at LoopUp’s HQ for a Launch planning session, and nearly everyone had an idea, and they were invariably good ideas! Maybe I’ve just become more of a… Valley victim shall we say, and lost my British cynicism, but it seems like even amongst us, the imports, the proportion of people with at least one entrepreneurial idea is colossal. When I was recording my SVIP video with Lee long before flying out[1] he mentioned in his that he hoped to start some kind of startup of his own with the other SVIP members. Before that the idea hadn’t even crossed my mind, but its seemingly more plausible every day.

I feel like this should end with something poignant, so here goes… As Jay Z might [never] say, this one goes out to all my engineer homies. At planning, there were several ideas that cropped up that were too big for a hackathon, almost all in fact, as evidenced by our failure! But that didn’t dismay anyone, far from it. The conversation segued smoothly to “right, when shall we make that one?”. The point is, its not about the hackathon. They are a means to an end, a great motivational tool, but that’s it. If you have a Good Idea, don’t be perturbed by irrelevant constraints…

Just build it.

[1] Do NOT try and find that video. Dear god. No.