Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Cereal Hack #3 - Birth of FriendQ

This idea came to me a while ago and I'd been waiting for just the right time to take it to a Hackathon (if you're unclear on the concept of Hackathons please seem my previous post on the subject).

Here's the concept, I'm constantly recommending TV shows, movies, books, websites and general pop culture content to people in my life. Most of these recommendations go un-acted upon, but not for lack of interest. I suffer from this problem too, a friend will tell me about a book and the title will go right out of my head before I get a chance to look it up or download it from audible.

Just yesterday I was telling someone about Bravest Warriors, and she said, "Did you post that on Facebook, because I'm not going to remember that." I did post it on Facebook, but unless she looked it up last night, right after I told her about the cartoon, it will fall out of her memory all together and eventually off the front page of my Facebook. Text messages, those get lost too. E-mail, hah. Messenger pigeons, too many hawks.

The question was, what if we built an app to catalogue and organize all the recommendations, an app that allows the passionate party to push pertinent, propositions to the passive party's phone?

So I set about building my team.

FriendQ Team, Hackathon Team

I had two developers and two creatives (including myself) - basically a dream team.

We got together a week before the competition and brainstormed strategy.

Come game-day we got to work immediately busting out an HTML5 version of the app within the first day and since we had time Alex started tackling the IOS (apple) version. Sean did an amazing job on the interface design and logo... don't you think?



We worked and worked and worked. We refined our infomercial style presentation down to the called for 3 minutes and nervously waited in the audience for our turn to pitch to the judges.
When we stepped up to present the projector didn't recognize Alex's computer - and while I thought we presented really well despite technical difficulties, the judges asked questions which implied we didn't explain the concept or build the value enough - and this was made evident by the results. 

FriendQ didn't even place. Needless to say we were disappointed. Being able to easily share recommendations with friends through a handy queue would be exceedingly useful and FriendQ will serve this niche once we get it fully developed and on the app store, so like us on Facebook to follow the progress. 

Congrats to all the teams that did win. QuickJobber had great looking site and awesome level of completeness, seriously, way to bring a great level of competition to Sacramento! Other winners included Buckets of Books, a beautifully designed book recommendation app, and an awesome robot arm (don't remember the company name). 

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