2 people, 1 prototype, 0 commitment
Proto Night is a usergroup that meets once a month for 2 hours to make prototypes of web apps, in San Francisco.


What's the point?

Networking, collaboration, motivation, learning, uniting idea people with developers, finding people you hit it off with!

When? Where?

The 2nd Monday of every Month. The Sept 8 meeting will be at: Assembly.com at 7pm in the Mission, 3030A 16th St.

Why 2 people?

You will be randomly paired with one other person for the whole 2 hours. Pairs will chat, throw around some ideas, brainstorm, strategize, and implement a very focused prototype. Groups of 2 tend to have high engagement and low disagreement. Idea people will be paired with developers (idea people can also be developers).

Why 1 prototype?

Working on something real tends to get the ideas and energy flowing. For idea people, the meeting can be an easy and fun way to finally get a start on that prototype you've been thinking about. For developers it can be a low stress way to get motivated and connected.

Why 0 commitment?

By attending the meeting you aren't committing to anything beyond the 2 hours. This keeps the stress low and ensures you'll meet a new person each month. Some pairs may opt to continue the relationship afterward, but that will be the exception rather than the rule.

What should I bring?

Developers should bring their laptops with a dev environment ready to go. Idea people should bring an idea or two and maybe some paper to scribble on.

What if we don't get anything done?

No problem. You still met an interesting new entrepreneurial-minded person, had some fun conversations, and most likely learned a lot and got your brain really fired up for 2 hours.

What type of things should we work on?

2 hours isn't much time so pick a simple and achievable goal - a subset of your larger idea. Start with some brainstorming. Then maybe...
Mock up some of the ui on paper or Balsamiq Mockups. Make a very focused rails/django/express app. Make a page or two using Bootstrap. Do a proof-of-concept with a couple calls to an API. Make a simple page on Facebook.

What if I want to protect my idea from potential competitors?

You're encouraged to share, but there will be no demo-ing at the end and you'll only be working with 1 person per meeting. And you'll likely only be prototyping a small focused part. Feel free to alter the domain (say it's "Twitter for beekeepers" instead of for falconers) as long as it's plausible and enjoyable for the developer.

What do idea people do?

The ideas, inspiration, motivation, dialog, pointing at the screen, etc. that non-programmers can provide during programming can be quite valuable. When the coding starts, it's not time for you to go grab coffee. Roll your sleeves up and jump in. You'll both learn and contribute a ton!

Are there general guidelines?

1. Collaborate - work together not apart - you could do that at home.
2. Keep the dialog going - the whole night. Including during programming.
3. Encourage and incorporate - your partner's ideas. Give them equal time to talk.
4. The idea person is not in charge - but rather has equal say regarding what to do.

What if developers get paired with developers?

We'll provide some sample ideas, or you can brainstorm and come up with your own.

So if I show up, I'll get paired with a developer?

Not necessarily. It depends on how many developers and idea people attend. It will help if you arrive early.

What if idea people get paired with idea people?

Maybe try spending an hour on each idea. Use the time for brainstorming and building off of each other's thoughts. Maybe just draw a mockup of the UI for each idea on paper.

Hey Proto Night, can I have some of your tots?

Pending sponsors, we'll try to provide food. Join the mailing list and we'll mention it if we don't plan to.

How has protonight gone so far?

Read this blog post by Bryce Glass about his Proto Night experience.

I want to go. What should I do?

RSVP here.

Join the google group.