We’ve all heard K-pop legend Psy’s chart-topper, “Gangnam Style.” His outrageous dance moves and catchy harmonies quickly went viral after the song’s release in July. For many, the song has run its course.

But if you’re still hungry for more, we found the solution: “Picklestyle.”

It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like — a personified pickle dancing to “Gangnam Style.”

“Who in the world came up with this idea?” you might be wondering. The answer is Seattle designer Sarah Hiraki, and two tech-savvy students named Kevin Beason and Adam Ryman.

The three met at Startup Weekend UW (SWUW), an event held by the University of Washington in late January that brought entrepreneurs together to share ideas.

It started as a “how to pitch” icebreaker exercise. All participants were divided into teams and given sticky notes with random words written on them. Beason’s group received the sticky note reading “Gangnam Style Pickle.” He stuck with the idea, and pitched it seriously during the actual pitch time.

“I knew that the most creative project in the room was the gangnam pickle, so I approached Kevin about it,” Hiraki said. “After watching person after person pitch life-improving efficiency apps, I realized that there wouldn’t be much to design except for a logo and some UI.”

Ryman, Hiraki and Beason presenting Picklestyle at SWUW. (Photo: UW Student Life)

Hiraki and Beason paired up with Ryman, and together they cranked out the final product before the weekend was over.

After conducting some research and doing some brainstorming, the team went to work building the site. Hiraki, who has worked for Cheezburger — the site known for popularizing silly cat pictures on the Internet — illustrated the site and designed the user interface. Beason, the front-end developer and a programmer for Freak’n Genius, built the JavaScript. And Ryman, the COO of StudentRND, served as back-end developer, and set up a network that would support the users they were hoping to attract.

Not everyone knows the secret to making something “go viral” on the Internet, but these three do. Four words: cats and dancing pickles.

The night it pitched, the site got more than 600 visiters and around 1,000 page views.

“We knew that we had more or less the same goals for our product: funny, fully-operating, and interactive,” Hiraki told GeekWire.

The project was simply for fun, not profit. Because of the resources at SWUW, the team was able to pool their hosting credit on Amazon Web Services and host the site for free for the next few years, Hiraki said. If the site gains momentum, she added, they may install a “donate” button in order to keep operating, or to benefit another non-profit.

Hiraki said that her work on Picklestyle has inspired her to possibly do more animation and humor work in the future.

If you ever find yourself in a pickle, check out Picklestyle. It’ll be sure to give you a laugh.

Previously on GeekWire: GifBoom teams up with Mr. Gangnam Style for contest

Reach Lily Katz at lily@geekwire.com or on Twitter @LilyKatz

Comments

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=94500172 Kyle Kesterson

    Although usually helping to fill in the Genius half of Freak’n Genius, I’m happy to see that Kevin is exploring his more Freak nature! So proud… :D

  • Guest

    @facebook-94500172:disqus I always thought you filled in the “Freak” part of Freak’n Genius. I stand corrected. :)

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