Five More Ideas for Startup Weekend


Startup Weekend Seattle is right around the corner, and you know what that means: time for yet another list of simple ideas that I think would make good startup weekend projects. 

But before we jump into it, I first want to say a HUGE congratulations to Eric Koester  and the team behind “Learn that Name”.  At the last Startup Weekend I attended, they built a very cool little iPhone game to help you remember the names and faces of acquaintances you meet at events and conferences.  And today, they were acquired!  Great to see an exit for a very talented team, and I’m really excited to see what teams come up with this time around.

Anyway, here are the ideas.  Please, please, please feel free to take any of these and run with them if you’re so inclined.  There is a catch, though – if you use one of these ideas and you do eventually get acquired, you owe me exactly one beer every time we run into each other at a bar at any point in the future.

Gym Class

Remember back in sixth grade when every day you had the opportunity to spend an hour every day getting large rubber balls thrown directly at your head?  And the fun of trying not to get last place in the Presidential Physical Fitness test (thanks, LBJ)?  With this app, you can relive classic childhood gym class games like dodgeball, rope climbing, kickball, and towel snapping!

That 80’s Picture

Some say the 80’s are back.  To those people I say – when did the 80’s ever leave?  With this app, you can take a picture with your mobile camera and then add totally tubular 80’s-style effects, like neon borders, flock-of-seagull hairstyles, and even the option to take your jeans and tightroll them!  Once you’re done creating a radical 80’s photo, you can then post it on Twitter, share with your friends on Facebook, or save the photo in an avatar-friendly size.

Thumb Wars

Credit where credit is due – this one came from my lovely and talented wife, and I absolutely love it.  The idea is to use an iPhone as a platform for an augmented reality thumb wrestling match.

Here’s how it works. You would hold one end of the phone, and your friend would hold the other.  The goal is to use your thumb to tap either the “attack” or “defend” buttons in an attempt to wear your opponent down.  Once your buddy’s thumbs get worn down, the “pin!” button appears and you need to press it as hard as you can in an attempt to pin your opponent. 

iMagic Eye

With the iPad coming out shortly, why not take Steve Jobs at his word and make this thing into a truly “magical and revolutionary device” with the iMagic Eye app? 

Don’t remember Magic Eye?  These were those annoying-yet-awesome images that looked like a random series of dots…until after half an hour of crossing your eyes, you experienced two things: a 3-D image of a sailboat and a migraine.  Technically it’d be pretty easy to pull together in a weekend, and think of all the fun images you can make into autostereograms for the end of the weekend demo?

Raising John Stamos

A little history here – at the first startup weekend I attended, I pitched this idea and it got a great response.  However, it never got off the ground as we couldn’t quite get enough people together to build this out.  It’s always been one of my favorite ideas, and I’ve vowed to someday bring it to life (hint, hint). 

Raising John Stamos is a Facebook app that follows the basic format as the Tamagotchi or (fluff)Friends virtual pet – but with a twist.

Instead of raising a cute little fuzzy animal, you would instead start off with a baby John Stamos.  Your job is to nurture your little Stamos from a fussy little baby into an international superstar.  Along the way, your Stamos would evolve from being an out-of-work waiter to landing his first TV commercial to getting cast in a pilot to becoming the uncle we all wished we had, Uncle Jessie in Full House. 

To find out which idea I’m going to tackle and to stay up-to-date on the progress, you can follow me on Twitter at @astartupaday.  Can’t wait to see all you Seattlites at Startup Weekend!

5 responses to “Five More Ideas for Startup Weekend

  1. The last idea is definitely the best one.

    But i also like Thumb wars.

  2. Also agree that last idea is the best. I think that you should leave room for multiple endings for John Stamos , depending on decisions play made during the game. ie, depending on player decision Stamos could end in gutter or as super-star. like in real life 😉

    • Bojan – good call! We’re actually working that into the game a bit. You have to make decisions on which items to give your Stamos and depending on the choices you make, you get different outcomes.

  3. I guess that I loved too much comics with multiple ending as a kid. If we go another level up, we can actually put Stamos’ fate in hands of another player in another game, ie from manager role facebook app. That way we can leave decision making to actual person , instead of “straight forward algorithm” … maybe it could be social gaming revolution!

  4. I think your Thumb wars App would be super successfull, and I would know since I am part of the super cell phone generation… Also I tried raising Uncle Jessie, and I think it’s pretty funny… Way to be Kevin! And yes… I sometimes peruse your website…

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