Works and Days

Gloopen, Alec Kosik, Winter Shadow 2016

I spent two weeks of this past winter break engrossed in a shadow like no other.  No, my winter shadow with Gloopen did not involve much shadowing at all in fact.  Instead, founders of Gloopen, Arun Sagar and Ranjan Chaudhuri, challenged us externs to develop our own startup.  More accurately, they asked us to start a startup.  Though there remains much to be done before we can release our project onto a Reed server, it is awesome that we can even speak about doing so—in the sense that we are amazed at what we accomplished in two weeks and terrified what will come of our idea.

Terrified too of the legal quarrels looming over every startup’s head, about which we had several conversations that I found particularly enlightening.  Luckily such quarrels may not be that relevant to our current project but just to have a general idea of things like the patent process, with all of its unspoken requirements (such as hiring someone to write the patent), makes me a little more confident in being able to play the game of startups.

On the technical side, Arun told us about emerging technologies as well as software histories.  Because I began programming after many technologies had been created it is always revealing to hear how and why those technologies were created.  For example, the conglomeration of HTML, CSS, and JS was not made all at once but rather was built upon over time as demands for dynamic webpages were solved with JavaScript (JS) and demands for style were addressed by Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).

Perhaps the most significant learning experience from the externship was simply going through the steps of building a startup, with Arun and Ranjan.  They guided us through what may have been the hardest recurring question without them: ‘What next?’  From coming up with an idea to identifying target audiences to deciding co-founder equity and much more, all are integral steps to the process and all deserve their due diligence.  Despite the, at times, overwhelming considerations of building a startup there was always one encouraging factor: we had already started.

Tags: winter shadow, externship, startup, programming, development, gloopen