About this time last year, we gathered up a group of designers and engineers that had been working on Retronyms projects and headed off to Bolinas, CA to put in a burst of work on a new product. The event was later renamed "The Bolinas Debacle" to reflect the events of the week.
Getting to Bolinas is a debacle in and of itself. As a post-hippie paradise, the residents of the town are known for removing all road signs that would normally show you how to get there. But thanks to our proficiency with Google maps we were still able to find our way.
The stage for this developmental achievement in the works was a quaint little house perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean. Once we arrived we found it to be a less than ideal workspace, as the cottage was cluttered with the most extraordinary assortment of crap you could imagine. One table and a shortage a beds didn't contribute much to productivity either.
Things deteriorated as we spent the entire first day discussing what to name the new project, and that night a storm that was probably more of a hurricane rolled in. We made the best of it and sat in the hot tub as branches tore off the trees around us.
Of course when we woke up the next morning, the power was out and the roof was leaking. Everywhere. Several of the biggest leaks were located directly above the only table we had to work on. Turns out that trying to find all the buckets, pots, trashcans, and any other container that could possibly hold water doesn't help much for productivity either.
The hurricane continued for several days, and the Debacle ended with nothing accomplished. The whole thing was deemed a grand failure and named "The Bolinas Debacle."
This year we set out to accomplish the same thing and even made T-shirts to commemorate the occasion. We gathered up a new crew and headed over to Las Vegas to try to build an iPhone app in five days, which of course was a wild success. Keep reading for more on this year's successful Debacle.