I decided to do Austin Startup Weekend this weekend, which was my first Startup Weekend. It’s an interesting format – you come in and pitch your ideas, then form teams around those ideas and execute over the weekend. The idea I pitched attracted some interest, but I don’t think I explained it very well – you get 60 seconds to state your problem, who you are, how you plan to solve it, and who you need – that’s really hard! I only decided to pitch on Wednesday, but actually thought I was going to do a pretty good job. In any case, it’s great preparation for when I actually have to pitch a real product or startup.
I joined up with a smaller team, because I knew one of the team members from a previous Austin API Hack Day, so I knew he could do a good job – we found an interesting niche, solving the no-show problem in the hair salon/spa industry, but it’s pretty hard to do customer development there. I built a push-notification driven trending daily deals app on the iPhone, and an availability management app for the iPad on Saturday, and then spent most of Sunday on polishing the app. I used Urban Airship for the first time as a push notification provider, because I figured that was easier to set up than to set up push notifications coming out of the server.
API vendors like Twilio and Parse really spoil me – comparing Urban Airship’s API directions for a mature product they have had for years to Twilio’s brand new iOS client documentation really shows that investment in quality developer documentation just makes sense.
Anyway, I have a pretty decent iPhone app out of this – some screenshots: