Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Weekly Update: Startup Weekend

I had an intensely busy weekend this past weekend (which is why it took me an extra day to squeeze out a blog post). So much happened to me that I figured I would analyze it in a weekly update. So here goes.

Music: Thundercat
I know I already mentioned him in another update, but I saw the bass prodigy otherwise known as Steven Bruner do his thing at the Hoxton on Sunday night and it was too amazing not to share. After having missed Flying Lotus (a band in which he plays bass) back in October of last year, I was delighted that Thundercat played two or three Flying Lotus songs interspersed in his 90-minute set. I also really appreciated how much the crowd was dancing and loving the intricate solos that were peppered throughout, and the applause was more fervent than I am used to at other shows.

I can't believe this was a $15 show. His talent alone (not to mention the two musicians of his band) was amazing and it made me wonder why we pay so much money to see the likes of Taylor Swift when this was a more intense, joyful, and overall better experience than I could hope to find in Taylor Swift's music. But I guess that's just one person's opinion. Watch below:

I gave up my weekend to a hackathon called Startup Weekend. Together with an accountant and four marketers, I was able to make a pretty solid prototype of an app called 21 Days. The app uses social media and professional advice groups to help you form good habits, all in the span of 21 days.

And would you believe, even without a developer to code a real app for us, we won! First place! Check out the prototype below:

This week, I am getting back to it. Tonight, I am going to start the second Joshua Davis skillshare class. I want to work at it at least twice a week, so I'll also be absorbing his wonderful lessons on Sunday afternoon (after some well-deserved sleep following Nuit Blanche).

I also really want to ride my bike sometime before the weather turns Canadian, but it's been raining a lot and I haven't been getting home until after dark lately. Being able to ride my bike to work once I move downtown will force me to learn some much needed skills (such as riding one-handed and standing on my bike). But I need to find a place to live first!

Random Thought:
Or rather, a random occurrence. I was waiting for a streetcar at Spadina and College, about to begin my long journey to York University where an even longer weekend at the hackathon would commence. I noticed a guy standing beside me with a leg cast on, which piqued my curiosity. I scanned up to his face to see if the leg was giving him any noticeable grief, when I realized that I was staring at the face of Mark Little! Now, in case you didn't know, he is undoubtedly the funniest member of the now-defunct comedy troupe Picnicface. I usually shy away from talking to celebrities because I say something stupid and can never forgive myself for it. But I took a chance and relied on the fact that I had something interesting to talk about (thanks, Startup Weekend). We had a lovely six-minute chat from College Street into Spadina station, where we parted ways forever. Nice to meet you, Mark!

I wonder if celebrities use their recognizability as a way to talk to random people. I really like starting conversations with strangers as long as there's a set time limit (i.e. parting ways at a subway station), so I decided to take a chance. If I were famous, I'd definitely do it more often.

As if I didn't have a busy enough weekend, my week was pretty busy too. Product designers from Facebook in California came again to visit my (now past) university program on Wednesday, and I decided to make the trek to attend a very interesting talk on the evolution of photos. As we know, Facebook is all about photos, and it was interesting to hear about the shift of the medium itself with the rise of smartphones and the like. As you may know, Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 after attempting to release a product that did much the same thing. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!

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