Site owner Peter van der Zee told .net that while js1k started as a joke response to the An Event Apart 10k competition, it soon snowballed: "I ended up with over 700 submissions". In part, this was down to frustrations with the 10k competition, said van der Zee: "It allowed external resources such as jQuery. While it wasn't the objective of aea10k to focus on 'golfing' like js1k does, the 10k part of the competition still felt wrong."
Having been disappointed with the most recent js1k outing, van der Zee decided on a simple theme for this year's competition: "Last time, we used an obscure old game, The Oregon Trail, but the latest theme is straightforward: love. Some say it's inspired by me getting married last year, but I just wanted something simple that people could easily catch on to." Additionally, netting some prizes and updating the website has boosted the competition's appeal.