The anticipation is palpable.
Hundreds of hackers have congregated outside Manhattan’s Pier 94, planning, strategizing, and praying to baby Jesus that their fates will be similar to those of Group.me and Docracy. We’ve seen plenty of Hackathon winners go on to do incredible things, make millions of dollars, and rise to startup stardom levels, but the journey isn’t a simple one.
Let me paint a little word picture for you:
The hackers will be in a massive warehouse for the next 24 hours and beyond. They’ll have API sponsors and helpful workshops, sure, but the challenge of creating a product, or even a prototype, all comes down to them. Red Bull will be an unavoidable temptation, especially after a couple hours staring at white code on a black background.
They know they might crash, but they don’t care. They need the energy. Snacks will abound, and snacks are all they have time for anyway. A huge meal is sure to weigh down the belly and slow their pace.
After a few hours, fights are destined to break out. Maybe it’s a disagreement over which API to use, or which color the UI should be, or really anything. They’re under an insane amount of pressure, and even the slightest frustration or hindrance can cause a major break. Teams will turn against each other, and joyously reunite after a few moments of pensive reflection.
When the clock strikes midnight, that’s when things get loopy. The empty cans of Red Bull will be joined by full cans of beer, heads and shoulders will begin to slump, and the fights that have since been resolved will resurface.
Certain members of various teams will begin practicing their presentations, most certainly distracting other teams from their work, but this is, after all, a competition. The coffee pot will be refilled twice as often for the rest of the Hackathon, and bean bags, tables and even cold, hard floors will be converted into napping pads.
And alas, the sun will rise. Obstacles will be overcome. Prototypes will be completed. Presentations will be perfected.
And perhaps, just maybe, the beginning of a beautiful story will be written.
Disrupt NYC is set to be one of our biggest shows yet, with returns from Michael Arrington and MG Siegler, along with a variety of big names like Marissa Mayer, Sarah Tavel, Fred Wilson, and David Lee and more. It’s going to be huge.
If you’re interested in checking out Disrupt and/or the Hackathon yourself, tickets are still on sale here and info on the Hackathon can be found here. Companies who want to join the Battleground can apply for the last remaining spots in Startup Alley. You can find the full agenda here.