From Startup Weekend idea to iPhone App

For quite some time, I really wanted to do a Startup Weekend.  Finally, the stars were aligned and I got to attend one back in April at PayPal.  The format is simple – Friday brainstorm ideas and form teams, Saturday and Sunday work on idea, and Sunday night pitch idea and show demo.

Well, the idea that I pitched was an event finder app.  We developed a prototype on top of Google’s app engine.  Everything worked fine with some parts faked to show the concept.

At the end of Startup Weekend, a few of us wanted to continue working the idea.  Soon that number became zero after a week.  Interesting.  That left me all by myself, a product manager who use to code enterprise software.  What is a girl to do?

The number one problem was that I didn’t own a Mac, so within weeks I bought a brand new 15″ Macbook just for developing (the 500 GB hard drive wasn’t too bad either).  The developers on my idea were the ones with Macs.  Next, I wanted to find a partner in crime because coding can be more fun in pairs.  I found someone off of one of my yahoo groups, but turned out the project was more complicated than what she’d like for her first iPhone app. So we parted ways after a few weeks.

I eventually realized that I was just going to have to do this app all by myself.  The only way that I can do it while learning objective-c at the same time was to focus on a very scaled-down version of the app aka keep it simple stupid.

I read “iPhone Development for Dummies” and a bunch of online tutorials.  Thank you to all those websites who had great, simple write-ups on how to develop apps (Stack Overflow is great too).  Life saver!  Also, I kept in contact with two iOS developers from Startup Weekend.  We exchange ideas and tips with each other.

Seven months later, Eventabulous hits the App Store (aka last week)!  Does it generate revenue? No (boy, do I get this question a lot).  Does it do what I originally pitched at Startup Weekend?  A scaled-down version, yes.  Was it a labor of love and tons of fun?  Hell YES!

Eventabulous is a simple location-based event finder app.  Based on your current location, you can get a list of nearby events for the next 7 days.  For a given event, you can get directions, look at tweets nearby, and share event information via email with your friends and family.

I encourage to download the app and try it out for yourself.

Have an Eventabulous week!

One thought on “From Startup Weekend idea to iPhone App

  1. I found your blog via your post about AppNation; loved your app story so will download and check it out! Congrats on your determination to just whip it up.

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