A Medium post by Alicia Liu on Medium. Did I mention this was on Medium?
To me, it was just another marketing gimmick, like so many corporate-sponsored hackathons before it, to trick otherwise sane developers into working for free—with copious amounts of junk food and caffeine and the lure of dubious prizes—to develop apps on top of APIs and platforms they otherwise wouldn’t bother with.
Turns out her suspicions, which were published on Medium, were correct. But Salesforce’s execution was much shittier and sleazier than most people would have predicted. See the Hacker News comments as well.
While Salesforce got a bunch of free ideas out of this, they also burned the developer community badly, which is going to hurt their recruiting (and maybe retention, too). I can’t imagine this will prove worthwhile in the long run.
I wonder how Mattt Thompson feels about the company he works for now, after he spent some of his immense credibility to promote this event. I wouldn’t hold it against him — I’m sure he didn’t know this would happen — but he should sure hold it against them.