Today American society is in the midst of one of the most polarized political climate in recent memory. After a tumultuous campaign, protestors have come out in millions – all around the globe. Regardless of the cause, peaceful protest is an important and impactful part of our democracy that has shaped our country time and time again. While this impetus of change has such a mass following, our team was surprised to see the lack or supported organization. While social media has enabled the mass-dispersion of invitations and a sharing frenzy, there is no one location to access protest related information in one central hub. There is in fact no community, no app in the Google Play or Apple App store named ‘Protest’ – until today. What’s more we’re here to advance mass protest into the modern generation.
What it does
Protests aim to stand together for a cause. Protest provides a simple seamless layout of upcoming protests providing supporters the ability to join, access basic protest information, and share the event on social media. How can we advance protest culture and effectiveness? Use the protest app to vote on an image that conveys the most unified overlay of what the protest is looking to achieve, notify users, count down, and display! All at once, thousands of supporters hold up their phones in unison, displaying the same image – a powerful show of solidarity.
How I built it
Specific focus was put into simplicity. Three simple screens with the two goals: create a community people who want to protest can go to in order to find nearby gatherings, and utilize technology to advance protest culture. A native Android and iOS mobile app was built using xCode (iOS) and java (Android). The apps communicate to a central server located on Firebase. The Kane-Builder platform was used to construct the website (ProtestDrumpf.com), which is used as a faceplate for downloading the platform.
Challenges I ran into
While the field of Hackathon attendees faced surprise WiFi outages, we took everything in stride as a learning experience – and a reason to overheat our phone’s hotspots. Generally speaking, there is no protest API, no core shell we could use, we built everything from scratch. This led to a great deal of early-morning debugging. Moreover, the team faced a large challenge in navigating a complex social issue with tailored messaging and imagery.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We are proud of identifying a true market gap and developing an innovative, yet simplistic technology, to fill the need of that market gap. Furthermore, we are proud to have identified a source of investment willing to take this technology to that market.
What I learned
After a great deal of brainstorming and reflection – thinking about how the general public interfaces with technology, we learned that the power of simplicity goes a long way. Two goals, three simple screens. While there was a lot of learning achieved in the app building space, general technology skills gained seems granted from a Hackathon. Our focus on maintaining a business propagation perspective of the technology and how it would interface with our market was our biggest, most valuable learning achievement.
What's next for Protest
From the conception of Protest, passionate about the role Protest will play, we actively pursued and received an interested investment body who has agreed to run a minimum of $1,000 of social media ads, with more to follow contingent on the success of the user adoption. Quite simply – what’s next: Protest.