Just got back from a very fun Foursquare Hackathon. Contrary to some opinion, there was a lot of hacking done. 40 projects are on the wiki at the time of writing. Hail to the Mayor is particularly intriguing one since the idea is that when the mayor (or other specified person) checks in to a venue, their theme song would play.
Note: the piping hot 2 Bros Pizza was delicious (as is all free pizza). After 10 minutes, the pizza cooled down and was pretty stale/terrible.
There was nonstop networking/socializing, but this is a good, healthy thing for the NYC startup scene.
One thing that I noticed was how most teams focused on the tech hacking (as they should at a hackathon). This typically resulted in awkward or less polished demos. The demos were limited to 60 seconds of presentation with immediate judge feedback afterwards. To me, this looked like teams were rewarded for slick UI while the backend (no matter how good or bad) didn’t count for as much.
For those who couldn’t make it tonight, good news: Naveen mentioned he wants to expand 4sq hackathons internationally.