Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Debacle 2012 - Santa Cruz

Early each year since 2008, Retronyms & Dokogeo have organized a company outing that has come to be known as "The Debacle". While the name has its roots in a leaky-roofed cabin outside Bolinas, the events of subsequent years have proven it to be a pretty accurate name for what happens when a group of software developers & designers get outside the comfort zone of their homes and offices, and try to spend a week working productively in a new and unfamilar environment.

Despite (or perhaps because of) the challenges of dealing with spotty internet connections and having to forage through strange new supermarkets for food & supplies, some really amazing stuff has come out of past Debacles, including our award-winning geo-games, Dokobots and Seek 'n Spell, as well as the earliest incarnation of our current iPad music app, Tabletop!

This year, The Debacle is taking place in beautiful seaside Santa Cruz, home of the UCSC Banana Slugs, and all kinds of interesting shops & attractions. Having learned a thing or two from previous years, we decided to stop off on our way into town to pick up a few essentials, namely beer and coffee!

The brew-masters at Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing helped us put together an awesome sampler of IPA, Amber Ale and even a Coffee Porter from their wide selection of beers. After the first evening's meal however, supplies are already starting to dwindle, so we may have to pay them another visit before too long. Fueled by bacon-infused cheeseburgers and the caffeinated beer, we stayed up late working on Tabletop, Dokobots and several other projects which you'll hear more about in the coming months.

Once everyone finally crawled out of their beds and futons and sleeping bags this morning, we enjoyed some amazing coffee from Verve Coffee Roasters, another Santa Cruz favorite. We got to spend a little time looking at their brand new roastery yesterday afternoon when we stopped to pick up the beans and as you can see from this clip it's looking super-impressive!

So, with our basic needs met (and exceeded!) we're already hard at work on our first full day of Debacle excitement. And, as you may have guessed from this blog, as well as our posts on Facebook & Twitter, the internet situation here at Debacle House is actually pretty stable, so we'll be checking in periodically over the next seven days to share some of the exciting new stuff we'll be working on, as well as more of the cool people, places and things that we come across as we explore Santa Cruz and beyond. Anyplace in particular you think we should check out? Let us know in the comments!

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