Sunday, April 26, 2009

Launching a Startup in One Week

In honor of the 3rd BarCampBirmingham this coming Saturday (May 2nd), I've decided to try to do something mildly interesting:

Build a web application in one week (M-F) and release it this Saturday at BCamp. So far I have written zero lines of code. I'll be outlining the feature set and begin development today (Monday, 4/27). I'll have one week to build the application and deploy it to a public server; then, at BCamp I'll discuss the experience.

The idea will be relatively simple, but significant enough to be useful. It is an application I've wanted to build for a while now, but just haven't done it (so talking about it at BCamp will be a good motivator!!).

The application will essentially be a community portal that will represent how newspapers should have responded to Craigslist years ago (for an example of what not to do see It will allow users within a metro area to buy and sell things like Clist (i.e. an online classified site), but will do so with a more of a community feel to it by including information on local events/reviews/information etc. In addition it will eventually have a modern user experience that includes a richer, more attractive interface than what is provided by Clist [1]. Version 1.0 will be targeted only at the Birmingham, AL market and will be relatively simple.

Given the compressed schedule, I will need to keep the feature set as compact as possible. I would like to implement the following features:

1) Basis support for users (registration, login, logout, change passwords, forgot password)
2) Support for selling houses (multiple pictures of house, detatiled descriptions, location)
3) Job listings
4) General Classifieds (single associated picture)
5) Events (garage sales, concerts, user group meetings etc.)

I'll keep you updated on my progress... and if you are in or around Birmingham, you can see for yourself the results at BARCAMP!!!

[1] Craigslist is a very popular site and provides a cool service. The developers of Clist appear to view its 1990's style web-interface to be a feature... no frills, no good-looks, just the raw features necessary to buy and sell. While I agree that simplicity is good (i.e. the Simplifying Software moniker!), I view the old-school design as a bug, not a feature.


Banzai10 said...

It's a lot of features for one week, isn't it?

Miguel said...

what language / framework are u using?

trav said...

This is such a very cool idea! I look forward to seeing the final product. With the tight schedule I doubt you'll have time to blog updates, but I'll be checking back.