Monday 3 December 2012

AngelHack Toronto : Presentation Disaster

Background :

Saturday morning, I headed off to Extreme Labs in Toronto to create an Android client for, an app which connects amateur rock musicians. Musicians can form gigs, attend auditions, form bands, etc. This was a solo project.

Day 1 :

I built the app up from ground up, coding all day and night. It was going extremely well. Here was when I made a huge mistake- I registered to present before anybody else had registered. This effectively meant that I was the first to present out of about 66 presenters.

Day 2 :

I applied the finishing touches to my app. I was to present at 2pm. The problem was, that the AngelHack guys didn't have a HDMI cable for me to connect my Android device to the screen.  All other devices (including Google TV) were accounted for. This was extremely frustrating- the only way to present would be to use the Android emulator. These emulators are extremely slow and horrendous.

Presentation :

An unqualified disaster. My app was beautiful, but I never got a chance to showcase it. I had only 2 minutes to present. The Android emulator immediately froze up, and there went my chances. I had prepared a few screenshots though, which I managed to bring up. However, 2 minutes just flew by and I had nothing to show.
Damage Control :

  • I sent a mail to the organizers requesting a second presentation due to the technical failures.
  • I sent mails to the judges apologizing for the failed Android emulator. This isn't surprising- Android emulators consume a lot of memory and are bulky. iOS emulators work beautifully well on the other hand.
  • There was a presentation break midway. I did what I had to. I walked up to the seated judges, and personally demo-ed my product on my Android device. Some of them didn't seem interested; others were more receptive. I was satisfied though- my presentation might've been an unqualified disaster, but at least they had seen my product in action.

Lessons Learnt :
  • Have backups : I should have created a powerpoint presentation for this. Although I did have the screenshots, they were not organized in any order and the judges likely got confused.
  • Don't depend on the organizers to make provisions for your product : I should've purchased an Android HDMI cable beforehand. Relying on the Android emulator is possibly the worst thing anyone can ever do.
  • NEVER be the first presenter : I "submitted" my app the first, which by default, made me the first presenter. Presenting early is probably a good thing, but never first.
Conclusion :

Kinda disappointing. I went without any sleep, built a beautiful app, but screwed up the presentation. However, I took a chance and personally demo-ed the product to the judges during the break. I felt way better after that. Anyway, I shall work on Rock88 to completion and release it in the coming few months.

Other comments :

Wifi connectivity was poor, but the organizers (Hackernest) did a great job overall.

Congrats to the winners - Airpost (Met Alam and Angelo beforehand),  Raffi (Met Ian beforehand) and Froogler (Didn't meet anyone from this team beforehand).

Presentation order :

Airpost   - 49 / 66
Raffi       - 29 / 66
Froogler  - 13 / 66

Rock88 Screenshots :

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