Funny Guy Mo on Yahoo! Hack Day 06′ – Saved by Patrick Stewart

Before reading this article, please spend about 5 minutes in watching Mo’s video on YouTube. You’re guaranteed to get a good laugh out of it. Also watching the video will give you a better understanding of this article. Here is a [link] to Mo’s blog. Make sure to visit this as well.

Amit Chowdhry has been my friend since high school. Amit is one that knows me better than most. So when I came home from work a few weeks back and found an email from him telling me to sign up for the event I really didn’t pay attention, I just signed up and went on my way. I wasn’t really thinking about what I had signed up for.

Last week I get an email saying I’m invited to Yahoo!’s first ever HackDay 06 and to RSVP. I did a few Google searches and it quickly became clear that I had to go. I had no ideas of what I was going to make at Yahoo! or how it was all going to come together. I ran out of work at 5 and ended up hitting traffic on the way down to Sunnyvale, CA and got there at 7PM. Rushing onto the scene to find that everyone was already mingling and just having a blast.

Yahoo! is not the company I had expected. I had always felt that it was corporate and largely a cubicle farm. There is a much more hip vibe to Yahoo! Coming onto the campus was like a slap to my face. People were rocking out to Guitar Hero and later in the night bouncing in the mosh pit to the wonderful vocal stylings of Beck! Yes, Beck was there. And with a crowd of only 500 people! Can you imagine being able to mosh five feet from the stage and then running off to get a drink and coming back to your spot? I could see the beads of sweat on Beck’s face… it was gross but surreal. I loved every minute of it.

As the night went on, I ended up making a team and I pitched to them a fairly ambitious (but achievable) project. We agreed and got psyched about it and started working into the night. A few hours later, the teammates hit a few road blocks and morale was low. They decided to go home and get some rest. I continued working on stuff and when morning came, but my teammates didn’t return. I was left with half a project.

The nature of the event and the vibe I got from the sort of individuals I was interacting with at Yahoo! really gave me insight to the company culture as well and the sort of humor they appreciate. It gave me just barely enough confidence to try and pull of the biggest public stunt I have done to date. My hands were literally shaking in the moments before my number was called to present. I handed off my video camera to Jonathan Wolter (who I met a few hours earlier) and asked him if he would do the favor of getting my presentation on film. This taping might have been the evidence of me making a public failure of myself in front of the Yahoo! big wigs! Fortunately my feelings about Yahoo! and the event in general were more then right and the response was amazing. I can’t stress enough how much fun I had.

Yahoo!’s image is changing. The cool just got cooler.

David Filo - Co-Founder of Yahoo
David Filo, Co-Founder of Yahoo! kicking back and enjoying Mo Kakwan’s presentation.

Mo Kakwan has been essential to Pulse 2.0’s formation and is currently is involved with Pulse 2.0’s development ideas. YouTube has ranked this video as the #1 – Top Rated (Today) – All, #1 – Top Rated (Today) – Comedy – All, #1 – Top Rated (Today) – English, and #1 – Top Rated (Today) – Comedy – English on October 4, 2006. Mo wrote this article and edited the video that is on YouTube. Mo Kakwan won the award of Best Shtick at Hack Day.

This article was written by Mo Kakwan.  Mo is currently a software engineer at Raytheon.

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