While I initially had issues with the concept of Finish Weekend, I’m really glad I participated and believe everyone involved is better off for it.
My friends at Collective Idea have apparently been talking about doing a Finish Weekend for a few years and this is the year they made it happen! They put out the word thru Twitter, friends, collegues, and a ton of people signed up and showed up!
I met folks from Detroit, Chicago, South Bend, and even as far away as California! There were programmers, designers, editors, math geeks, marketers, and testers just to name a few.
Finish Weekend was born out of a personal and professional frustration with starting things and never finishing them. What if there was a weekend dedicated to taking something you’ve started, never found time to finish, and actually finish it. Even better, what if there were people around to help you finish it!
Many folks showed up with projects to finish, but what really surprised me were how many people showed up to help other people finish! This brings us to my issue with finish weekend.
When first told about Finish Weekend immediately I reacted negatively because I believe we should be working hard to finish things every day. I love finishing things. Finishing projects is hard (that last 5% can be excruciating) but the joy you get from shipping feature X, or accomplishing goal Y, is greater than the joy I personally get from starting a project (as much fun as that is).
When I finally got over myself and realized that Collective Idea was trying to help people learn how to finish things I signed up and made the trek to Holland Michigan. I did not regret it.
Today I saw a great group of people with greatly varying skillsets and backgrounds come together with one purpose, to finish things. We had people building video based web apps, crazy poetry recombinators, iPhone apps, and even a bond trader learning Python to automate a process that has taken him 1.5 hours every work evening for the last two years in Excel.
I was able to teach basic programming concepts, performance measuring and optimization, even cut up a mockup into html/css, and paired with my coworker on some tech that will hopefully help power our products into the future.
Collective Idea nailed it with Finish Weekend and my hope and desire is that we take the relationships and spirit of pitching in together to accomplish big and small things and carry it into the rest of our lives and not relegate it to a weekend.
Of course we’ll need reminded every so often. See you at the next Finish Weekend :)