Love Thy Developers
Foursquare hosted its second hackathon over the weekend at General Assembly, a surprisingly gender-balanced affair at General Assembly fueled by Pepsi products and beer from Sixpoint Craft Ales. Developers in Paris demonstrated more than 20 new foursquare apps; hackers in Japan demo’ed eight or nine. The New York hackathon produced about 25 apps, hacks and mashups.
Let’s just say there are a lot of new ways to play foursquare. Hackathon savant and newly-anointed Twilio evangelist Jon Gottfried and his team created Loo Review, a game for photographing and rating the city’s public toilets. Betabeat also liked CRawsome, a hack from Yipit’s Vinny Vacanti and Steve Pulec that texts venue managers when regulars and “social influencers” check in.
Perhaps 200 attendees were strewn across the floor, couches, and extra tables that had been set up in the main room, but only 50 were checked into General Assembly when Betabeat arrived in the afternoon for demos–probably because hackers had been checking in all day (about eight had stayed overnight to work on their projects). Just ten percent were present at the first foursquare hackathon in February, according to a show of hands.
Foursquare is being very strategic with its hackathons! We remember the first foursquare hackathon like it was yesterday. It was at General Assembly. It was right before South By Southwest. GroupMe built a foursquare app and subsequently broke out; Parisian hacker Pierre Valade built Agora, which eventually led to an internship at foursquare and the banning of the app by Twitter for misdemeanor spam.
As a result of the first hackathon, SXSW attendees had plenty of new foursquare apps to play with in between sessions of real foursquare in the startup’s PepsiMAX-sponsored court and awareness of the API spread amongst developers. Foursquare is pushing next weekend’s Global Hackathon just as cunningly. Remember when Meetup.com declared a National Pug Meetup Day and sent emails to pug lovers they found on the internet, encouraging them to create their own pug meetups in their cities?
Brought to you by the folks at Startup Bus comes a new challenge: 30 hackers. 36 hours. 900 miles. Imagine that being read by Don LaFontaine, and tell me you’re not excited, even if you’ve got a case of hackathon fatigue. The hackathon is sponsored by Intel, which means the prizes will be fiiine–so far $10,000 cash has been announced. Says Justin Isaf, who captained the New York bus hackathon last spring and now spends his days community managing at The Huffington Post: “NYC really delivered on the StartupBus to SxSW. We need someone to go defend that reputation and keep kicking some Silicon Valley rear end.”
The Start-Up Rundown
Contrary to rumor, Sunday proved as un-apocalyptic as any other day–although it was overcast and chillier than seems fair for May–and hundreds of hopeful hackers were hanging around the huge halls at Pier 94 for the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon grand finale.
Your week in New York start-ups:
ANOTHER ONE BITES THE FACE. Facebook has [edit: not acquired, hired the people behind] pretty, pretty Daytum, the two-person New York-based start-up that has been helping users organize and make spiffy all that data we create: check-ins, runs, hot dogs eaten. The app will live, the company said, but the team is moving out West.
The Pollyanna could not be more excited about the startup scene! She gushes about it every week on Betabeat. Today’s installment: The amazing wonderfulness of hackathons and how flat-out awesome they are!