Start-up Weekend Seattle: Day 2

Sketch for upcoming product’s logo

This weekend, I will be busy with Start-up Weekend.

Some resources sent in an email to the attendees:
“Here are a few gems from that roadmap that you should not miss checking out:
Attendee Startup Tools
Business Model Canvas
Customer Development Videos: by Steve Blank
How to Build a Startup – Steve Blank + Udacity (free to enroll)
Inbound marketing videos

And this piece of advice “We encourage you to work in an agile methodology, assign a scrum master, check with the everyone on the team once an hour. Identify all the tasts you need to do, create three columns on your white board: to-do, doing, and done and move tasks as they progress. Ask for help if you don’t know how.”

Day 2. I am in a group with no developers. Needless to say, when I said “scrum” I got a lot of shrugs. (I’ve been dying to try that process out.) We were productive anyways.

Today was a busy day. We hashed out what exactly our product is and who it is for. All I will say for now that it’s a game. I’ve learned that your product at this stage is not set in stone and it might be molded to fit its perceived audience.

Branding is a little difficult when you don’t know the name of the product. I didn’t know what to play up. I kept my files simple and editable and didn’t get attached to ideas or work when it changed. In the middle of the day we had a breakthrough in the components of the game and I had to dump a few icons I designed. No big. For most of the day, I had kept the growing list of possible names in the back of my mind. It had to be something that resonated with the team. We had word association and I used Nameboy to augment my name generation. During another brainstorm round at 3pm for a name, I had gestured with my hands trying to feel for the right words. “It has to sound something like…” and I had said a phrase that made our leader, Martin turn and look at me for a second. After getting over the initial silliness (many building-related phrases  turn out to sound a little phallic) we realized that it had a ring to it.

I went into designing the logo for it on the computer. One of my team members suggested that we thumbnail first. (Always have a person around to encourage you to do the right thing like start designs with pencil.) Everyone gathered around and agreed on the logo, but in the computer it came out more like an IBM logo than a game logo. Still needs work, but I was inspired by video game logos. They always have type that nests into itself a little, letters that extend out in an exaggerated way, sometimes a stroke, even. I want it to be a logo that evokes feelings of fun and structure (how to do that?)

I got input from the head designer about the interface which I mostly designed myself– icons in illustrator, beveled edges in Photoshop. We are going to simulate gameplay, so my few After Effects skills were needed to make precomps to flash the depressed states of the buttons.

There’s an option to get a url for cheaps and a place for a url for the product. When we discussed this potential opportunity, we kind of looked at each other and I realized that now was my big chance to develop a website for an actual thing. (Up until now, it’s been school projects, websites for imaginary brands.)

It’s 12:31am and I just finished working on the website. (It’s not up yet. Checking with the team before a great unveiling.) It will be a simple website with an intro to the project, some bios and a video. I picked out patterns and developed the logo. I will have to check with my business person and my idea person as to the exact content. I set up a responsive site using the 1140px grid framework and some of my web teacher’s code. I haven’t built up a trusty library of code, yet. (I really should get on that.)


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