Every Disrupt we like to walk around the hall and meet with the uber-cool hackers who have dedicated their lives to making cool stuff in less than a day. We cornered five hackers and asked them what they were working on, what their biggest problem has been so far, and who would they consider a hacker hero. Their answers appear below, uncensored, unadulterated, and completely candid.
Claus is from Madison, Wisconsin and is the CEO of SnowShoeStamp.com, a company that is working on ways to turn your cellphone into a key.
He and his team are working on an automatic deadbolt system that actuates when you press your phone up against a unique rubber and metal pad. The hardest part of the hack, he said, was “convincing the Ford guys to loan us their drill.” His hacking hero is Elon Musk.
Sumeet and his buddies arrived at the Hackathon dressed in matching animal balaclavas. I asked them why they were wearing these unique hats and they found it suspect that I wasn’t wearing a hat. It makes one think.
His hacker hero is Edison.
Sumeet works as a developer for Microsoft in Seattle. “We’re having issues fighting with our engine,” he said. He was coy about their project and so we left them to their quiet Ozzie hacking.
Justin is another hat-wearing hacker, sporting a jaunty reptilian cowboy hat. His hacker hero is Linus Torvalds.
He and his partner are working on multiple projects at once.
“We’re trying to get as many things done as we can,” he said. “We are planning six or seven small to medium hacks. For example, we’re making an app that tells if friends fly into your area when they check in.”
David’s hacker hero is John Resig and he’s a tech consultant from New York. His mustache is obviously quite impressive but he also has some programming chops.
The hardest part of his hack? Getting restaurants to enter their bank information. “We are trying to set up a service to pay for your food item on the spot,” he said. It works, he explained, but restaurants are obviously a bit reticent to hand out account numbers to mustachioed strangers.
Rodrigo is a Biz Dev expert with experience in social media management and SEO. His hacker hero is Mark Zuckerberg.
His biggest problem during the Hackathon stems from his inability to type. “We’re building a new app. It’s like turntable.fm for dogs mixed with Airbnb with some Uber. The business model is like Facebook’s.”
Rodrigo then began leaking air and deflated into a sad, sullen pile. Hacking, it seems, is hard work.