Sunday, February 08, 2009

What I Did This Weekend...

I went to the Seattle Startup Weekend 2 held at Google's Seattle office over in Fremont to pitch an idea... and got 27 votes and a dozen folks to help me make it happen. After two days of hard work, we actually have a catchy domain name and a prototype website.

What's the idea? Bringing consumers and service providers together, using geolocating to improve efficiencies by utilizing available bandwidth. In layman's terms, we allow service providers to take advantage of opportunities near their current location while they're otherwise unoccupied. Think of a plumber, for instance, who has to travel for a half-hour to do a two-hour job, then has a couple of hours until his next appointment. If a plumbing service call opportunity a mile or two away from his current location comes to his attention, he can choose to take that service call without additional travel time. A consumer's example would be, say, a need to haul a load of yard debris from last weekend's cleanup to the dump... but it would take several pickup truckloads, the dump's ten miles away, and the minimum dump fee is $15. Why not post a job for someone to come and haul your stuff away, for a maximum fee of $25? Some enterprising landscaper who is working in the neighborhood already has half a dump-truck load... and can spend 30 minutes picking up another four trash piles (you and others in the vicinity), and make a quick $100. You save money and time, and the landscaper collects an extra $100 for the same actual overhead. Win-win.

It was a lot of fun, with some frustration at the intermittent Internet service and blowing circuit breakers. We ended up spending almost all of Sunday at Peet's Coffee and Dad Watson's (both offering free Wi-Fi to customers), returning to Google at the end of the day to report on our group, watch what others had done and show off our own work.

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