SEP Startup Weekend

February 26, 2013

SEP Startup Weekend is by far the most fun thing I do at work.

A couple years ago, in a conference room, a handful of SEPeers were discussing the book ReWork. We all had mixed reviews on the book, but one thing was for certain:

We all needed to participate in this current startup culture.

This is where the innovation happens, and where all the cool gadgets/frameworks/kids are working these days.

The main problem? We all work at (and own!)  SEP. We all Love working here and we’re unwilling to leave.

No Talk, All Action.

Someone (Leif) mentioned that his roommate (SEP Alum, Anthony Panozzo) participates in Startup Weekend.

For those not familiar: No Talk, All Action. Launch a Startup in 54 hours.

Sounds like a blast, let’s do it. So, we took a bunch of pieces (like the 54 hours and product pitches) and mixed them with a little bit of SEP culture (code, more code, with a little code sprinkled on top) and made SEP Startup Weekend

The best parts? If I come up with the next [insert million dollar startup here], I get to work on that at work, AND since I/we own the company, that’s money in my pocket.

Show and Tell.

We’ve done this 3 times so far (about twice a year), and we’re doing our next one March 1-3 2013.  We’ve built some great stuff, with some cool technologies we don’t always get to use on our day jobs, and with some cool practices we don’t get to use a lot either. We’ve built apps from a Doumbek social drumming site with Rails, to a MongoDB backed distributed real-time planning poker app for Web/iOS/Android.  Or an Android app paired with an Arduino-powered Bluetooth thermometer for helping you make your own beer and a beautifully designed tablet app for conference room reservations.

To help us get all those crazy ideas done, we used many of the proven practices we use with our client work at SEP: