Ann Arbor Startup Weekend, Day 2 + 3

Well I didn’t get to blog about day two by itself, so I figure I will just combine my thoughts for the last two days into this post. Day two at Ann Arbor start up weekend was a work day, short and simple. People showed up at 9:00 and barely lifted their heads until lunch and dinner… of course I wasn’t looking but I can only assume that everyone there was just like me (sounds reasonable right?) In all seriousness when I looked around I saw people working feverishly non-stop, every group seemed to have a different goal set forth for the weekend.

Some simply wanted to outline what exactly they were creating, draft a bulletproof plan, and be ready for funding come Monday. Others had the ambition to get the product design, coded, and launched by Sunday nights presentations. Others simply worked so they wouldn’t think about all the beer they would not be drinking that night (me), and finally there were at least a few who worked hard and quietly because they had too much beer the night before (me).

My team planned to develop an SEO tool, and we had set out to define the marketing plan at the start of day one. This included all of the fun stuff like feature set, branding elements, the name, etc… We finally settled on the name “Seo Anchor” because of the readily available domain. Somehow we overlooked the fact that anchor’s sink, and well in SEO sinking rankings is like pissing your bed. You don’t want it to ever happen, and if it does you certainly don’t want a tool measuring the extent that it happened (no I don’t have any experience at that).

Not being a backend developer I left the work to team mates Winston Tsang and Lance Carlson while myself and Sunny Beach worked on design, IA, and branding.

By the end of day three we did have something to show, a lot of the functionality was working… however it is not quite ready to launch. Stay tuned for the details…

The presentations of other teams projects really was one of the highlights of the whole experience. I have always been a huge fan of Ann Arbor and the talent that comes to a city like this, but the ideas that were developed blew me out of the water. Everything from artificial joints that have little wear due to magnets, corporate SMS marketing, an iPhone Geo Tagging application, to a non-profit that aims to identify and reuse the components and materials in our every day junk.

I hope that every company that was “started” in this three day event keeps pushing to make the work into something real and genuine. Cheers and stuff.