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I thought the Unix philosophy embraced the idea of "small tools that do one thing really well."

> Please join me in my effort and do finish your projects.

Hear, hear. A friend and I hosted a "Finish it! Weekend" once (as opposed to a "Startup Weekend"). The idea was to get people together for one weekend and finish that last 10% or whatever of a project. Sadly we were the only two to show up. (And we both finished our projects, which suggests this might be a good kind of hackathon to host every six months or so).

"You got it 80% done in one weekend - get it the other 80% done in another!"

Nice idea. Call it a "FinishUp Weekend" as opposed to a "StartUp Weekend"?

I searched my old emails and indeed we called it "Finish Up Weekend." It was held May 10, 2013 at Work In Progress (in Las Vegas). I'll credit John Hawkins (9seeds.com) with the name.

I did something remotely similar with a guy online - we set a schedule to each launch a monetised microsite within five days and 'keep each other honest' (e.g., not get lazy and do nothing each night). The plan was that each morning we'd check in and show progress - only allocated an hour each night. The pressure would motivate us to see it through.

Even though we'd never met and did everything via email, I still found it effective and built a site that made several hundred dollars and then sold down the track. Nothing lucrative, more than my hourly rate by hours spent.

Curious what the site was

Two-keyword domain, Adsense-monetised, 5-6 pages of content I wrote myself. Location-specific.

Each night I did a tiny portion of the work:

- research keywords and write bullet points - decide on domain, buy domain and set up hosting - extend bullets to x paragraphs per page - create site with nav and pages - launch and paste in ad code

Each evening was about an hour.

MFA sites are a bit slimy and unfulfilling so I tend to favour other side projects these days.

I live in Vegas and would love to attend something like this.

To that end you should join LVDev if you haven't (http://www.meetup.com/Las-Vegas-Developers/) and suggest a meetup!

Who wants to do one of these in NY?

NYC? I'm down.

> I thought the Unix philosophy embraced the idea of "small tools that do one thing really well."

Big monoliths are too useful to go away. Does emacs "do one thing and do it well?" No, it does a million things, some of them better than others. Nevertheless, lots of Unix guys use it.

Emacs does do one thing and one thing well: it runs elisp code.

The image just happens to have a text editor and a bunch of other useful utilities built-in.

To expand on this, each elisp package tends to do one thing and do it well. The majority of my Emacs workflow is basically just a bunch of small, single-purpose elisp programs that get used alongside one another.

Emacs looking like the antithesis of the Unix philosophy is only because the Unix nature is deeply embedded within it.

That hardly describes all of them.

It describes a rather substantial majority of them. There are exceptions, sure, but that changes very little of Emacs' Unix nature.

I think that's stretching the meaning of the philosophy quite a bit.

Perl is another counterexample (it was partly born from dissatisfaction with the Unix philosophy).

Would you consider hosting that with remote participants? I'd love to do a *thon like that.

Sure! What kind of "venue" would you suggest? (Lord knows I have plenty of unfinished projects myself!)

A dedicated chan on IRC maybe?

EDIT: Also: I might take part if the "Finish it" weekend takes place, provided my wife takes care of the kids long enough.

If you wanted to make this big you could get a whole lot of hackerspaces to participate. I'd suggest IRC for now.

That's a very good idea. I'm up for that, remotely.

This is a fantastic idea! I think I will host one in LA this summer.

Can you please elaborate?

The original description we emailed around is probably best:


You've heard of Startup weekend, right? You spent an entire weekend working on something and then, come Monday you've got yet another project sitting on your plate that needs your attention. Now what?

I floated an idea by Steve Wainstead a while back for something we're calling "Finish Up Weekend." The idea is, take one of those projects that's part way finished and FINISH the damn thing! So, that's what we're doing.

Tomorrow morning around 9, Steve and I will be setting up shop at WIP and digging in to projects that we both want to make happen. No checking email. No checking Facebook. And especially, no working on projects for clients. This is all about YOU and that project YOU want to work on. Be prepared to show off what you finished!

We'd love to have you join us. Come on down and make something awesome.

Hope to see you there!


What gives this idea some mojo is it's an event. It's an incentive to set aside everything for one weekend to push the project over the finish line. And you're in the company of others with the same goal; this creates peer pressure to avoid distractions and stay focused until the end.

Love it. I'm stealing this idea.

Good artists borrow, great artists steal! :)

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