Meet Martin, Mentor at Garage48 Women Special Event

Martin Grüner is the co-founder of Aplefly Games and the world's best in developing real-time web and software solutions. Being always the witty and most-traveled one, Martin has seen almost anything and can thus spot a potential new startup in an instant! If you believe that Martin can give valuable feedback and will mentor for the win, then you are with us! Register for the upcoming Garage48 Women Special hackathon in Pärnu and be surprised how much work can be done collaboratively over just one October weekend!

You have also won the Garage48 hackathon yourself, for several times. Tell us a little about that experience. 

I participated in the very first Garage48 hackathon and in many after that. Looking back at the events, the biggest value has always been the contacts I've made. The ideas rarely survive (obviously with several exceptions like GoWorkABit and TimberDiameter from the last years Women's Special event), but the contacts stay. When picking the idea I suggest choosing it based on the the team as you will spend the next 48 hours with them. I also wrote a blog post about surviving the hackathon as a developer: http://m
artingryner.com/developers-guide-to-garage48-hackatron/

You have participated in 11 (with mentoring included - in 15) Garage48 events already and counting. What keeps you still fascinated with Garage48 hackathons? 
 
There is no better event for networking. Instead of just exchanging business cards you actually get a chance to work with someone for 48 hours. That's how I met the guy with whom we founded Aplefly Games

How and when did you first realize you are interested in IT and technology? 
 
I've been interested in technology for as long as I can remember. Whenever I was playing a game I always wanted to make one. That's what got me started with programming. 

What do you think is it about Estonia, that we produce so many innovative solutions? 
 
Estonia is small, which means it's a good testing ground for solutions. The whole country having less people than most capitals allows companies to rapidly develop solutions without having to deal with scaling. The latter can be both a blessing and a curse though. 

Why did Angry Birds become successful, yet so many other games never reach so high? 
 
A combination of unbelievable luck and Rovio's past experience in developing and publishing games. They made 51 games before Angry Birds. Also, at the time, freemium and ad-based business models were not as popular as they are now. People don't like paying for apps and Angry Birds seemed free. 
 
Which do you enjoy more - being an software engineer or an entrepreneur? 
 
That's a tough one. I've been coding since the age of 11 and been an entrepreneur since 16. Luckily, I can do both with my software company now and a game studio. If I'd really had to make a choice, I'd say Ico  find business more challenging.  

If lets say, I have an amazing idea  I want to pitch and execute. How can I attract the right team for it? 
 
The best ideas always attract the best team. If you have a great idea you will always get the team together.

Alive or dead - who would you like to have dinner with? 
 
Winston Churchill.

Your message to Garage48 Women Special event participants?

Just do it! Because if you don't, someone else will. 


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