Welcome to Lemonade Stand, a new and easy way to buy and sell locally. Lemonade Stand is a neighborly commerce platform that enables people to buy and sell goods within a community. Artists, craftspeople and entrepreneurs can share their wares with their neighbors while members of the community can find and buy close to home. An easy way to shop while supporting your local economy and the talent within it- what could be more wholesome?This application had somewhat of an interesting birth. Right before this year's SXSW began, I came across the StartupBus project. A group of entrepreneurs (or rather, busrepeneurs) would join forces on the bus to sxsw, and over the course of the road trip, produce and launch a startup.
One of the teams took an interesting approach by publishing a RESTful API as the first step to creating an Android and IPhone app for their startup. A WP7 app was regrettably not on the roadmap, so as I went to bed on Thursday night I wondered what it would take to gin up a version for wp7 based on their public API. When I woke up, I guess my subconscious was thinking about it all night, because I shot out of bed and saved a few pages of the lmnd.st site, including some of the art assets to my laptop. When I got on the train, I started by writing the rest calls and models, and experimenting with some of the different layouts. Of course I didn't finish as my train ride (or at least the first train I take towards NYC) is only about 50 minutes. So I decided to hit up the closest Starbucks for lunch to leach off their WiFi. Now that I had network access, I started testing the rest calls and tweaking some of the layout/design to match the mockups they had put up on their site (of course with the Metro design language as inspiration).
Before my lunch hour was over, I had a working prototype. So I banged out a quick blog post and celebratory tweet before heading back to the office. Within a few hours, I got a twitter DM from one of the lmndst team members asking me to call them. Jon was super nice and thanked me for the effort. Then a bit later he called me back and asked if I could send him the app so they could show it off at sxsw. I asked him if he had a wp7 device and he said there may have been one on the startup bus from the sponsors, but sounded unsure. That's when I remembered that a member of the wp7 team (Ben Lower) was in sxsw handing out phones in exchange for pitches. So I introduced them (and got some hash cred while I was at it ;) ) and they got a phone to show off the app. Then I went home and polished up the app a tiny bit before sending it off to the lmnd.st team and submitting it to the wp7 marketplace.
The rest of the weekend was pretty calm, I followed along on twitter as the team set up a real lemonade stand to cool down parched festival goers. Those guys put forth a pretty big effort as is evident by their many mentions in follow up articles to sxsw. I was even indirectly mentioned in one of the articles As an "unknown Supporter" :P
The team created the Android and iPhone applications, but they were greeted with an exceptional surprised when they woke up in Austin on Friday: A Window's mobile version of their app. A supporter unknown to any on the project team who had been following their progress on the New York Observer blog took their API and created the Windows version.Now that sxsw is over, the team says they will continue development of lmndst. I too plan on more iterations to at least reach feature parity with the iOS and Android apps.
One parting note, on the Saturday after I first published the app, I briefly skimmed over the premise of lemonade stand with my wife at dinner. I was surprised when, on Sunday as I was talking about needing a new laptop, my seven year old son said, "you can sell your old one on Lemonade Stand". So maybe there is something to this idea ;)