Hackathon is an event where people have to create a product MVP based on technologies in a short time. The objectives can be different: to make up a feature for CRM systems, service for recognizing the audience, or an app for managing smart devices. Hackathon organizers can set one or several tasks the teams have to accomplish for the customer.
Participants typically form groups of 2-5 players to compete. They involve developers, UI/UX designers, analysts, product managers, and marketing specialists. Sometimes the teams center around the leader who attracts different professionals. In some cases, Hackathon managers form the teams themselves before the competition.
As a rule the participants pass the pre-selection: organizers assess the application quality, relevance of the suggested idea, and other metrics. After the selection finalists are invited to the event.
On average, Hackathons last for 2-3 days. However, the duration can vary from a few hours to a week. There are checkpoints for tracking the progress: the participants show their work results and get a mentor feedback several times during the competition. It allows teams to understand whether or not they move in the right direction. Moreover, a customer makes sure that the participants work on MVP and don’t use ready solutions with an open code.
Besides the consultations and advice from mentors, the participants acquire new skills of teamwork, presentation, time-management, and working in a stressful situation. The Hackathon winners receive a money prize — $5,000-$10,000.
Hackathons differ in accordance with the format, target audience, tools, and platforms used.
Open vs Closed
Anyone can participate in open Hackathon. Whereas closed Hackathons are arranged only for their staff. They aim to stimulate the internal entrepreneurship, involve the team into business processes, and boost their motivation. For example, Facebook’s Hackathon led to the formation of new functions like Safety Check and Donations.
Hackathon is a true challenge for anyone. You have to create a brilliant prototype keeping in mind a bunch of things. Therefore, there are certain rules you should stick to:
• Enhance the community which the hackathon is for;
• Be welcoming to newcomers;
• Give other participants an opportunity to learn something new;
• Provide a space and time for participants to make progress on the problems they are aimed at.
Would you like to participate in Hackathon from Idea Factory? If yes, what role would you take? Share in comments 💬