Yahoo! Hack Day
A day after, here are some lessons I learned about giving demos at Hack Day:
- “Don’t do any set up – go directly to show what’s cool really about the hack”. I was given the best advice I didn’t take 5 minutes before giving my demo. Wished I’d met the guy earlier.
- Allocate buffer time for Murphy’s Law. In my case, stage fright and fumbling with the wireless mic while struggling to type lost me precious seconds. Sorry, Weiwen, I should have shortened my script!
- Focus on what’s novel, clever and cool, not necessarily something blandly useful. Clips on maps are perhaps a little too obvious, and we did shameless rip off Flickr’s geotagging UI.
- Have fun giving the demo and show everyone a good time. What can I say? I got a C for “play” in Kindergarten!
- Go “with the grain” of the event. Yahoo! had released a couple of new potentially game-changing APIs: BBAuth and Mail. Those were probably the low-hanging fruit areas to look into. If you’re new to this sort of event, don’t be one of the first presenters, see how others do it and maybe I should have attend the Beck concert too?
As to the main issue: is it compelling to have clips on maps? I’m still mulling this over. This event certainly wasn’t a validation of the concept. On the other hand, I’m still excited by the concept and I’m darn proud of what we accomplished.