Inspiration & What it does

When we learned about Amazon’s undercutting of small businesses, we were devastated. We built our product to help small businesses getting pushed out of industries by bigger companies with more economies of scale: specifically, the ability to adapt to COVID-19 circumstances.

How we built it

We created a responsive web app using bootstrap and vanilla javascript/css to serve a landing page, registration page, login page, and dashboard. Our web app also connects to a custom API backend that we wrote to assist with the MongoDB database transactions. Our backend is written with Node.js and Express.js to provide the customization we needed for our API. The web app serves mainly as the dashboard for local businesses to manage, update, or remove the products they wish to sell. Our website also serves as the landing page for our Chrome extension available to users. Users would then download our chrome extension, which reads an Amazon product you are viewing when activated. Our extension would then theoretically connect with our backend and retrieve the most relevant products sold by local businesses within your zip code. We were able to deploy our website to Azure Web Apps and customize it with one of our own custom domains. We also were able to use Chrome Extensions to start the creation of our chrome extension.

Challenges we ran into

We faced different challenges both individually and as a team due to our differing roles in the project and the shift from in-person to online Hackathon. Both Brenda and Miles got out of their comfort zones and learned how to code HTML and JavaScript respectively for the first time. Rafael faced the challenge of creating a Chrome Extension and connecting all the backend so that we can make a navigable website. As a team, we struggled to coordinate with each other and check in consistently due to the switch to virtual.

Accomplishments that we're proud of and what we learned

In this project we all developed new skills as emerging and improving hackers. Brenda learned html for the first time. Miles learned JavaScript for the first time. Rafael learned how to make a chrome extension. Manasa developed her skills in CSS. Together we learned how to collaborate over an entirely digital environment, an ever more prevalent skill in today’s world, and play to each other’s strengths. We learned the value in taking a project all the way from conception to submission and the need for time management in the planning stage.

What's next for fairycomm

The future of fairycomm is undecided. Once fully functional, it will be more effective the more small business register and the more people we have using our chrome extension. It may require a bit of time investment to prepare for an official launch, but our community will be better for it. We plan to complete our backend design and implementation as well as implement and improve our Chrome Extension for better user accessibility and use.

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