I just got back from Startup Weekend in Santa Clarita. It was an amazing event, filled with sweat covered programmers and designers building sites and apps to develop and present in 54 hours. Sounds crazy, I know, but there was an amazing energy and excitement in the air that was truly intoxicating.
I was attracted by the concept... designers, developers and business savvy people getting together and starting a business in less than 3 days. The weekend starts with the pitches, if you've got an idea you have 60 seconds to let everyone know what it is. Pitches are followed by voting, where everyone casts their votes for the best project, then the winning projects start to form teams. Hopefully the teams will include a good mix of designers and developers, but this doesn't always happen.
The team I was on included 2 front end developers, 1 back end developer, 2 business/marketing folks, and me... the designer. By the end of the event we had created a near-prototype of 99styles.com, a simple shop-by-style website, that brings multiple brands together. From concept to creation we got the semi-working demo up in 2 days.
If you are a designer or developer you need to attend one of these events once in your lifetime to experience it. If you are interested in attending or learning more check out the videos at Startup Weekend.org.