Hackathon! The moment you listen to this word, your mind is naturally transported to a hall full of a desk with computers or laptops, few packets of wafers, half-empty cans of coke and a bunch of coders. This is the most conventional understanding which we have. But, let me tell you this, Hackathons are not only about Coding or only limited to Hackers. Yes, you heard me right.
What is a Hackathon then?
A refreshing anecdote perhaps might be a good one to start with-
Mr Sharma owns a sweet shop in one of the busy markets in Delhi, however, he wants to introduce a new product line of freshly prepared milkshakes to his shop. Since there is no other shop selling shakes in the vicinity, he is unaware of the demand and wants to understand the business scenario. He has his set of customers and on certain days he gets heavy inflow as well, moreover, he does not want to bore his customers by sending out suggestion forms.
As milk and certain other things required for preparing shakes has a low shelf life, he wants to procure the fresh products every day as he does not want to compromise on the quality of the products. He also needs to know the exact demand that might be there on a particular day as he does not want to send back customers without having them taste the delicious shakes he is offering. To get answers to his questions, he conducted a hackathon on Dare2Compete.
I hope this has indirectly answered your query. Hackathons can be on anything to arrive at a creative solution, however, it is not only limited to coding. If you take Mr Sharma’s issue as a problem statement, it can be solved in two different ways. A non-coder can ask him to keep different types of shakes in tapped dispensers and stick a banner “Free for all-drink and enjoy!”, and keep a track on the age group, the day of the week, time of the day and other parameters can calculate at the end of the day. A coder can collect this data and interpret it in more in-depth and can arrive at different digits like the footfall at his store, customer preference for the shakes, how many bough sweets and drank a shake vs how many only drank the shake etc.
This is a typical example of a very simple one, there are hackathons being conducted by startups to big corporations to find out answers to their problems. Hackathons are fun along with being a learning platform for anyone. Any exercise which makes you think opens you up for greater ideas later.
Hackathons are great brainstorming events and they can be very beneficial in multiple ways and anyone can hold a 24-hr by following these steps:-
Tapping into the creative mindset
Hackathons require participants to step out of their normal roles and skill sets. This may mean interacting with different colleagues or performing unfamiliar creative tasks. A short team activity can help participants loosen up, think boldly and open their minds to their brilliant ideas.
A perfume manufacturer can kickstart a hackathon with logistics as a focus which might be helpful in his business as well as in allied fields.
Step into the shoes of the Customers
A promising thought begins with a profound comprehension of a particular arrangement of end clients — their identity, what they need and why? The best organizations often focus on customary reviews and division strategies with present and potential clients and cutting-edge representatives.
Low-technical discourses will probably uncover the genuine contemplations and sentiments that impact buyer practices, even simple needs that clients aren’t completely mindful of yet.
The solutions offered by such hackathons additionally offer a chance to connect with buyers who aren’t normal clients of an item, which could result in a convincing thought that a review by a regular client could never yield.
Power of the right question
The best hackathons begin with an open-ended test, for example, “By what means may we enable our deals to group interface with contacts all the more successfully?” The inquiry ought to be realistic and members ought to have the flexibility to consider all aspects of the problem statement or even to re-examine the test altogether if new data emerges. A right question can strikingly narrow down the scope and bring out ideas that are feasible.
Prototyping ushers more Promising Ideas
After members pick a couple of most encouraging thoughts, participants can promptly begin to design out potential arrangements. Prototyping could be as basic as drawing an item on paper while thoroughly considering how a client may communicate with it. It could likewise be a procedure or an arrangement of working standards that set the phase for greater changes.
Proficient hackers will test the advancing model on clients. In the best cases, client input impacts the outline and gives a definitive proportion of achievement. Clients might have a penchant for a certain part of the idea and not so comfortable with the rest, in that case, the final outcome will be pretty much dependent on the client’s need.
Nurture and expand the best ideas
The most talented trailblazers still keep nurturing ideas to build on further even after the hackathon closes. They proceed with the testing and input process and search for approaches to transform these thoughts into huge scale upgrades that can enable the organization to develop.
A popular eatery network can utilize a hackathon to understand the eating trend. The activity not only just opened better approaches to acquaint new things to the clients, it also propelled to put forward noteworthy components to redesign the eating space with a bar.
While hackathons can enable organizations to grow new items and administrations, the advantages reach a long ways past the yield of a solitary hackathon. We’ve seen organizations utilize hackathons to advance societies’ development, to change the working standards.