Time for even more hackathons. First up this month, I’ll be at the TechCrunch Disrupt SF Hackathon, where I’m planning on building a PSaaS. Just what is a PSaaS? You’ll have to wait and find out (no, Google won’t help). Rest assured it will be radical, impactful, and not very transparent.
Then it’s off to Mozilla’s Ignite Hackanooga Hack Day in Chattanooga, TN. Attendees will be collaborating on projects that utilize the city-wide gigabit fiber network, which sounds like a very good reason to relocate to Chattanooga. I’m planning on a distributed computation engine along the lines of Folding@home and related projects, but with a focus on what can be done when clients are hyperconnected processors rather than separate workers. I’m not fully decided what exactly that means yet, so I’m open to suggestions.
Then comes THack, a travel industry hackathon culminating in an event at SFO on September 20th. As an avid yet cheapo traveler and a member of the FlyerTalk community, I am really excited about all the travel industry API’s that we have access to. They give participants access to a ton of data and API’s that are normally not available to anyone but the largest enterprise companies, tightly guarded under restrictive contracts and astronomically high prices. It’s a treasure trove of official data from airlines, airports, hotels, rental cars, even trains. There is data directly from traditional backend GDS systems (like Amadeus), high-level systems (like Expedia), aggregators that power some of the more powerful travel search engine websites (like TravelPort), and others. Can you tell I’m more than a little excited?
Anyway, since January I’ve been traveling the country competing in hackathons and living off of my winnings. But flights (especially last-minute flights) cost a lot and I make surprisingly little income off of the hackathon cash prizes (most hackathons don’t have much cash in their prizes). Sometimes companies sponsor my flights, and I want to open an offer to anyone that may be interested: in exchange for you helping pay for my flights, I could use your technology in various hackathons around the country (or even around the world). It would be great exposure for a company that has some awesome new technology. You probably already sponsor hackathons, why not sponsor hackathonners? If that sounds like an idea worth discussing, I encourage you to get in touch. In the meantime I’m gonna go win some more hackathons.
UPDATE: My Disrupt Hackathon entry, PardonTheDisruption, was a success. Check it out at PardonTheDisruption.org. “What happens when hundreds of conference attendees all get calls at the same time from a system that knows a bit too much? Part public service announcement about privacy, part call to action, and part social experiment. I hope you will Pardon the Disruption as I take internet data collection to a new level.” Here is the video of my demo at the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon 2012 at which I won special mention (top 7 out of 151).