Thanks to Timehop, I saw this morning that six years ago Fred, Amit Gupta (yes, that same Amit Gupta) and I hosted a FB app hackathon at USV. This ended up being a pretty formative event for me.
I knew little about the inner-workings of developing for the FB ecosystem at the time and learned a ton from the brief presentations made. At the time, the name of the game was getting your app installed on other users profile pages (which in the long run of the FB app ecosystem, ended up becoming irrelevant). That’s because the primary FB experience at the time was jumping from profile page to profile page, to view people’s walls.
Zynga wasn’t in the USV portfolio at the time. In fact, I’m not even sure it was a company in existence… I think it was formed that same summer in 2007.
I met Chris Muscarella and Ben Stein at this event for the first time. They were working on Mobile Commons (which they co-founded) together at the time and were trying to figure out how to leverage the FB app platform for their customers. Many years later, Spark was lucky enough to have the opportunity to partner with Chris on KitchenSurfing.
Facebook says that Naveen was there, though I don’t think we interacted much that night. I got to know Naveen better later on when we were on the same Zog indoor soccer team.
Mike Lazerow was there if I recall correctly (my memory’s really sketchy on this one), except Buddy Media wasn’t really the Buddy we know now. Instead in hinged more on a virtual currency he had created called FaceBucks, which later had to be renamed AceBucks due to trademark concerns.
I think Seth Goldstein dropped by because he was working on SocialMedia.com, which, for a window of time, was a key customer acquisition channel for everyone in the room.
I could be confusing this meetup with a different meetup, but I’m pretty sure at the end of the night, Michael Galpert took all the left over pizza and gave it out to the homeless people in Union Square Park.
Fred wrote a post-mortem on the event the next day. And his cell phone pics Flickr feed helped me recognized that Danny Moon was there too.
I don’t do enough of this type of stuff anymore. I host the Quantopian meetup regularly at Spark NYC, which is great, but it draws a very specific financially-focused crowd. If I wanted to host a broader platform-oriented meetup today, I’m not even sure what platform would be productive to choose. Hosting an iOS meetup today would be like hosting an “Internet” meetup in 2007. Maybe Bitcoin? Anyway, given the great event space we have in our NYC office I should do this type of stuff more often.
I learned so much and met so many interesting people that night.