48 Hour Launch 2011 – Recap (Or: My Weekend Beats Your Year)

This weekend I did my part to help a new company get off of the ground. I’m not the only one – most of Memphis’ best and brightest showed up to brainstorm, solve problems, pound Red Bull, write code, design graphics and, best of all, learn from each other.

The first time I did something like this I ended up helping to launch MarksMenus. This is my 3rd time out and I am amazed at how much bigger it gets every year.  Different people have different reasons for participating.  For some, it’s the promise of hitting that next billion-dollar idea.  For others, it’s a chance to see what is going on at the bleeding edge.  For me, I just enjoy the company of some of the most intelligent, creative and driven people that I have ever met.  I simply love the collaboration and encouragement that exists between the different teams.  Sure, every team was competing for the top honors, but there was still a sense of cooperation and fair play.

About a month ago, I learned that this year’s 48 Hour Launch would be a little bit different.  The newly-formed SeedHatchery was going to put up $15,000 and entry into their mentor program for the winner.  I took this news with mixed emotions.  On one hand, I was excited that this event had gotten so big that someone was willing to take it seriously enough to put up that kinda scratch.  On the other hand, I was scared that the teamwork and sharing of ideas would turn into dirty pool and petty fighting.  I arrived on Friday afternoon with my MacBook, pulled out my headphones and got to work.

It was around Sunday morning when I noticed that a funny thing was happening.  Rather, it WASN’T happening.  Teams were still sharing resources.  The diluvia.com team lent some web design help to the stiqrd.com team.  The stiqrd.com team helped the bandtutor.com team with their biz plan.  Each project was engaged with every other project.  Not for any devious purpose but because everyone honestly wanted to see each project succeed and have a damned good shot at the prize.  It was like everyone believed in the concept of something greater then themselves for that one weekend and wanted to actively contribute to that idea!

Personally, I though that my team was gonna take it.  That is, until I saw a live demo of the Llamatag technology.  It was pretty much the Mozart to my Salieri.  If you haven’t heard about it yet, you soon will.  There were a TON of great ideas and a lot of progress was made in two days.  I’m really hoping to see all of these companies move forward and evolve.

Needless to say, I cannot WAIT until next year!

  1. Nice blog writeup on the event! One other note on the teams sharing with each other, I also designed the FITr.tv logo for those guys. So LlamaTAG helped them out :) . Just FYI.

  2. Thanks for the comment! I’m sure that there was TONS of other intra-team collaboration going on – I appreciate you bringing this one to my attention. Also: congrats on 1st place!