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Editor's Note: The Next Revolution

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This story appears in the September 2014 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Among the many unusual things one learns at a Croatian hackathon: 1. Coders are understood, globally, to be total badasses who thrive on sleep deprivation, and 2. post-hackathon, coders look like high holy hell, espresso-swilling, red-eyed vampires.

There are other, more useful things one learns at a hackathon in Croatia as well. The first of which is that hackathons are anchored on the very principles and idealism of entrepreneurship and are steeped in the traditions of a startup economy. Even if that economy has no idea what is happening. It's all about "creating something where nothing was."

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