When things get real

A story on how we built SkopjeSuperCup — a social impact app in less than 48 hours.

Last Thursday, I had a beer with a few brilliant minds. Just a few weeks ago, we started organizing these meetups with the idea to build a community of developers in Skopje. All of us wanted to make an impact, we just didn’t know where to start from. We all tried it individually. It wasn’t enough.

As all of the wannabe communities (we barely know each other) we talked about how to set things up. We talked about the type of activities we should be doing together. I was thinking, if we don’t shape things well today, this might be our last meetup. End of story.

Everyone here is tired of taking. We have enough of it. We needed some action. We were at a point where you either push forward or you stop. We needed something that is going to boost us.

There were a few good ideas as a starting point. All of them were either hard to achieve or not really challenging. Out of nowhere, we started talking about the incredibly expensive accommodations for the upcoming UEFA Super Cup event. Apartments in Skopje went up to $6.000 per night on AirBnb. We were all shocked. Then there was a long pause. We stared in awe. We all knew what our first project would be. We had smiles all over our faces.

We scheduled a hackathon for Saturday. The idea was building a platform people from Skopje can use to offer free accommodation for the fans that couldn’t afford to pay thousands of dollars for one night sleep. We could have rented our apartments on AirBnB, but most of us are startup guys. We don’t believe in making quick cash. There is no such thing in our world.

I was pumped as hell. I wanted to go home, sit down and code the whole thing overnight. I believed it will be huge. Couldn’t wait until Saturday. It was too long. But, I had no other choice — I am a team player.

Saturday morning, it was 11 AM when everyone was at the office. People with smiles on their faces. I haven’t felt such positive energy since long time ago. We all wanted to do something remarkable, we all believed this is the right thing. We knew what we are doing is huge. It took us only 1 hour to finalize the idea, put our strategy on the whiteboard and define roles and responsibilities. We called it SkopjeSuperCup.

It wasn’t simple. We worked with people we never worked with before. We didn’t know our strengths and weaknesses. We didn’t know how we can support each other. There were people I was seeing for the second time in my life. But there was this spirit. It was something I can’t explain. What happened there is history. 24 hours of coding, coffee, and beer.

Yes, we built SkopjeSuperCup in less than 48 hours. We went live on Monday morning. The app went viral in a few hours. Then, it went down. The server couldn’t process the requests. We weren’t ready. We didn’t know what we’ve built.

It took us 24 hours to get on almost 30 news portals and the top news of the most popular national TV stations. It took us another 24 hours to get free beds for almost 60 fans, and it is counting.

We haven’t even started executing the marketing strategy for reaching out to the foreign fans. I can’t imagine how that would go.

We built SkopjeSuperCup completely voluntarily. Few geeks, using their skills to make a positive change in the society.

Tosho Trajanov
Software Engineer