I've just finishing working on a product for The 24 Hour Startup Challenge. Instead of the given 24 hours it took me 4 hours and 40 minutes to complete the project. Initially, I planned to spend 12 hours instead of 24, so I could maintain my sleeping schedule, but things accidentally went south.
For beginning with I'll tell about the product I've built and then later in the post I explain how I ended up making the challenge even more tougher.
My main product, Telepost, is a service that allows turning Telegram channels into blogs. For a long time, I wanted to make post rendering more rich by showing nice previews for every link in a post. For that, I needed an API that will fetch, parse and organize information about web pages.
When @patwalls announced The 24 Hour Startup Challenge, I already knew what I want to build.
Get Meta is an API that allows getting meta information from a web page by just providing a link to it:
It extracts basic information such as title, description, and metadata used to generate social cards on Twitter and Facebook (The Open Graph protocol).
See the demo response: https://getmeta.info/json?url=https%3A%2F%2Fgetmeta.info
Also, see my submission on The 24 Hour Startup Challange site: https://24hrstartup.com/sasha-koss
A few days ago I returned from a vacation and had the most productive week for the last year. I realized that working every available minute is counterproductive, so I promised myself to have at least 2 day-offs a week and sleep for 8 hours a day.
I was sure that the challenge starts at Sunday, so instead of opening laptop and diving into work as I used to, I went surfing for few hours and after returning to home started playing Two Point Hospital that wanted to play for months.
During a break from the game, I checked Twitter and realized that the challenge is started! Because it was already 1 pm (I wake up at 5 am and go to bed at 8 pm), my knee-jerk reaction was to give up and continue my well deserved weekend. But then got my shit together I decided that I still can do it. I already knew what I have to do and extreme time constraints made the challenge even more exciting.
Luckily I already had experience with streaming on Twitch so I managed got started quickly. On the bad side, I didn't do research either prepared deployment, so I had to lower my expectations and act quickly.
I never streamed for more than 30 minutes, and initially, I was very stressed. After a while, I got into the flow and forgot about strangers looking over my shoulder.
In the first 1.5 hours, I got a working prototype, so I decided to make a dummy landing and finally deploy the app. And then I regretted that didn't prepare. Setting up Firebase project took me a good hour because of a stupid mistake on my part.
When I finally found the problem and deployed the project for the first time the things got back to the track. Because I knew how it's essential to have a working project at any stage of development I was switching back and forth between the core functionality and the landing incrementally improving them.
They say that constraints stimulate creativity and I couldn't agree more with that. Instead of a beautiful landing that I planned initially, I came up with a simple but stylish page that looks like a JSON. I also had to be creative in cutting the scope and focusing only on essential features.
When I got to 80% of things I wanted to accomplish I decided to stop. I knew that last 20% would take me forever but most likely won't be noticed and appreciated.
And like that, I made a "startup" in 5 hours.