Zachary Pitcher


HackLodge Log 4

January 7, 2020

Today, I spent most of the day working on defining the problem that I wanted to solve and creating a presentation to demo it. I realized that there are three requirements that any challenge I choose must satisfy: the user must click on the link to make sure I get paid, the challenge should be reasonably difficult to make sure there aren’t multiple winners, and it should be an enjoyable experience for the user so they feel inclined to return or show it to others.

One problem I came up with that satisfies these is the “knapsack problem”. I give them an affiliate link to a product that can contain things like a backpack, and the user has to find a set of items that collectively fit inside the backpack, but whose prices sum to the greatest cart value. This would ensure that they have to at least visit the backpack link to find the dimensions of the backpack, while also being a fun and difficult problem to solve in such a short amount of time.

Catherine’s ear has a cartilage piercing, and apparently she was tossing and turning the night before, leading to some irritation and swelling underneath. She was really worried about it since there was some pus, so she went back to the tattoo parlor where she got the piercing and they gave her a thicker stud that wouldn’t jostle as much. Meanwhile, I went to the pharmacy and got some saline solution and gauze pads, but she said she didn’t need them anymore so I fished the receipt out of the garbage next to Walgreens and returned them. Luckily, there was nothing terribly wrong with her ear, even though she’d read some horror stories of ear amputations on Reddit owing to shoddy piercings.

In the end, I pitched my idea and it seemed like people thought it was pretty good and some had ideas for other challenges I could try, like a “Price is Right” one (Robert’s suggestion), but with a twist that Maas and I came up with to make it fit the format.

I went to bed pretty early, and I can mostly say that the main thing I’ve gotten out of hacklodge so far is better sleep and eating habits than I’ve had for the past month.