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Innovation & Job News

Stupid Sh*t No One Needs and Terrible Ideas Hackathon launches in Toronto

Have you ever made something that you completely regret? How about something that no one would ever use?

That’s exactly what the the Stupid Shi* No One Really Needs and Terrible Ideas Hackathon wants to celebrate.

Originally launched in New York this past February, the Stupid Hackathon is coming to Toronto. This Saturday, at Ryerson University’s Digital Media Experience Lab everyone is welcome to, as the website reads “make some stupid sh*t.”

This year’s categories speak directly to the title of the event and include “marginally improved food delivery, reductionist Boltzmann machines, emojianal intelligence, quicktime for pegasi, millennial falcons, maybe put some sensors on it I guess I can have money now, virtual reality, pentacopters, a fucking fitness tracker and the internet of bees.

The themes change every time, just as the organizers do.

While the original event was founded in New York by Sam Levigne and Amelia Winger-Bearskin, several have taken the initiative to launch individual Hackathons in their own cities.

Lindy Wilkins, Hillary Predko, Tom Hobson, and Alex Leitch are the organizers of the Stupid Hackathon’s Toronto Chapter, and they all hail from different sectors of the city’s tech ecosystem.

“I think people are excited to vent some of their frustrations with existing paradigms of startup culture,” said Wilkins, one of this year’s organizers.”

Lindy Wilkins is also the founder of MakeFriendsTO and spends her days as a Data Technologist at Little Dada and a Director at Site 3 CoLaboratory, a collaborative workspace in the downtown core.

Hillary Predko is a Toronto-based designer and fellow at the Toronto-based Mars Discovery District. Tom Hobson is a founding member of Site 3 CoLaboratory and Alex Leitch is an art and technology researcher.

Each of them have had a different journey with technology in the city and are looking to bring their experiences together during Saturday’s event, to facilitate the creation of “stupid sh*t.”

Wilkins emphasizes that they’re hoping to attract a group as diverse as the event’s founders.

“We are hoping to get a wide array of folks attending our hackathon. We've done specific outreach to women and groups marginalized in the tech industry. We hope this helps vary the types of humor that are generated here as well,” said Wilkins.

The question remains however; what’s the point? Why would anyone want to attend an event that promotes the creation of useless products and bad ideas?

To stress that there are no bad ideas.

As the Daily Dot reported in 2015 when the Stupid Sh*t No One Really Needs and Terrible Ideas Hackathon landed in San Francisco, there’s a certain merit in creating something just to create it, hereby providing an outlet for tech employees to goof off with the skills they use every day.  

The Dot goes on to report that Joshua Schachter, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who sponsored last year’s event, found that while many of the ideas were stupid, none of them were dumb.

Maybe this weekend, the players in Toronto’s tech space will make something that could one day be repurposed into something really useful. Or maybe, they’ll rediscover what it means to create for the fun of it.
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