Comedy Hack Day was an event held by Cultivated Wit and was a hackathon where the hacks had a comedic focus, as the name implies. The event was held at the The Alley NYC where hackers and comedians came together to share ideas on hilarious hacks to work on throughout the hackathon. The top seven hacks from the event would go on to present in front of a live audience at Littlefield in Brookyln and this became the main driving point of the event.
The event kicked off with some encouraging words from the staff as well as some jokes and jabs at the audience in order to set the playful mood for the weekend. At the start of the hackathon the grand prizes were never mentioned, which I initially thought was odd given the other hackathons I have attended, but it created a dynamic that I was very fond of; the focus became making a great app and not working directly towards winning a specific prize.
The Hacking took off Friday night with most of the teams trying to decide which one of their ideas would be the funniest but would also be presentable within the 24-hour timeframe they were given. Some groups immediately hit the ground running tough, and I was impressed to see that most people were working well into the night with no one falling asleep until around 4 am. The whole room seemed to be very invested in the event and wanted to have something to show for it.
Saturday afternoon marked the first round of demos, where the top seven apps would be chosen. There were 25 teams that chose to demo their apps and the creativity amongst them was very impressive, some notable ones include:
Dad 2.0 allowed you to consult a virtual dad with options of the type of dad you wanted to seek advice from. The dad would be able to give you advice on your career, social life, money issues, and problems with your mom.
Xcuseme was a navigation app that was intended to generate a path to your destination with as much interference as possible to ensure that you were late to wherever you were going. With the option to choose how late you wanted to arrive, going as long as up to one and a half days, the app gave you an out to those plans you never intended on going through with.
Fight or Flight was a Tinder-styled app that let you chose to fight or flee from a person based on their picture. If two people believed they could beat each other up they would be able to chat with each other and trash talk to build up some tension between them. With your address being a mandatory field when signing up for the app, it’s intended end goal seemed very feasible.
Am I Racist Yet? aims to help its users by helping them determine the time when they will eventually become a racist because they feel that knowing when it is coming is the best way to prevent it.
When all the demos concluded the top apps were selected and were invited to the next wave of demos at Littlefield. During the first demos there were a handful of apps that used Mashery APIs and, luckily, the app that was our favorite for the Mashery prize was selected to come to the second round, so we saved our prize for the next day.
The event at Littlefield had many developers return and a few new faces that came to see the show. The crowd was engaged from the get go and Cultivated Wit did a great job of starting off the event and setting the mood early like they did at the hackathon. This time the event was set up as a full-blown comedy show. There was even an intermission with an improv skit done by comedians wearing Google Glass.
The show was a great deal of fun and all of the teams did an excellent job of getting the crowd to have a good time. Ultimately the app that Mashery selected as their winner also was the overall prize for funniest app.
Timesify leveraged the Mashery-powered Times Developer Network, andwas an app that allowed you to browse sites like Buzzfeed and TMZ without the worry of being judged by any onlookers, because it would disguise the page as a New York Times article. The page would include a summary of the article it is being disguised as, just in case anyone who sees it asks you about it, but the original text of the page would be the body of the article. Any images that were a part of the original page would be hidden under fake ads and would come back when the ads were clicked. This app was not only hilariously clever, but the crowd loved it for its practical usages.
On behalf of Mashery I would like to thank Cultivated Wit for throwing such a stellar event, and congratulate the Timesify team on such a great app.