Facebook Grokathon, and how we're trying to take over the world.Slide, it began with the previous day and another all night hacking session on an idea Nik (from SuperPoke!) had. Before too many people came into the office I found myself running back to my barely-furnished, marginally decorated apartment to take a shower before leaving for Palo Alto, stopping outside 612 Howard, a.k.a. Slide HQ, on my return trip for a brief cigarette to collect my thoughts and remember that this is all going to make us insanely rich (in theory), I hopped in the elevator. After pitching the idea Nik and I stayed up all night hacking on to our Director of Engineering, Jeremiah, I woke Nik from a beanbag in the game room and along with Will Liu (also behind SuperPoke!) we three Facebook Platform developers stepped into Max's BMW M3 and raced off towards Palo Alto.
Fortunately, not only is Max a good driver, but the M3 is a phenomenal car, which got us there in a swift 30 or so minutes, just in time to show up 15 or 20 minutes late for the Facebook Grokathon. We met up with James Hong of "Hot or Not" while we were walking towards the Facebook Cafeteria and as we entered, Kevin Hartz of event brite said:
(I'm probably butchering the quote)
(Photos courtesy of Seth Goldstein)
I immediately sat down on the floor and popped open my laptop, partially to take notes, and partially because I still had lots of stuff to do! After holding up this sign to Meagan Marks, one of my favorite Facebook employees (alongside Dave Morin and Chris Putnam), I hopped on VPN and got to work. Hacking, taking notes, and listening to people's presentations was very reminiscent of my limited time in college, the hacking bit is more the reason why the time was limited, but that's another story.
Since we arrived late, Max presented close to last instead of the scheduled first, and I'm glad that Max mentioned that he wasn't going to try to upstage anybody and announce an API or let on to too many of our viral marketing strategies. He just casually noted that our applications have touched most of Facebook's userbase in one capacity or another and that Hot or Not's "Moods" application has been integrated into Top Friends for almost a month. In fact, a lot of our application has APIs for them, Top Friends for example integrates into My Questions, FunWall, SuperPoke and Moods, and those applications at some level or another reciprocate. In the end it is more a question of how we, as a business, strategically partner with other companies or individuals inside the Facebook space than whether we feel the compulsion to stand up in front of our peers and say "Look! This stuff we're doing is so awesome! Aren't we awesome!?"
While Dave Morin (head honcho behind the Facebook Platform) was giving a final presentation, Top Friends became the first application on Facebook to hit 10 million installed users. Aren't we awesome?! :)
As the meetup started to come to an end I felt that was a lot of what the meetup/grokathon degraded into, which from a human standpoint, is understandable. We are all battling it out to be "King of the Facebook Platform", so at every meetup like this to come there will be a bit of chest pounding just as there will be collaboration, business dealings, and (hopefully for the next one I attend) good food.
This is only just the beginning, the one year, not the today's two month, anniversay of the Facebook Platform launch should be very interesting.