Hackathons are growing in popularity across the globe. Startups are hacking. Innovation hubs are hacking. Even corporations are hacking. Hackathons bring people together to change the world.
Hackathons are growing in popularity across the globe. Startups are hacking. Innovation hubs are hacking. Even corporations are hacking. Hackathons are an effective way to bring people together (whether they're strangers or an established team) and create something that can change the world.
Generally, when people think of "hacking," they associate it with something negative and invasive. That's not what hackathons do.
Hackathons let participants use their skills and creativity to create something new. Hackathons let organizers see how their community innovates.
Depending on the type of hackathon, it may the company community coming together to innovate a current problem. It may be the local community coming together to address social or civil issues. It may be the local community coming together to innovate a company. It may be the local community coming together to create their own companies.
A hackathon is whatever you want it to be. It can last from anywhere from 12 to 48+ hours, but the key is bringing people together to create something new.
1. You Need to Innovate
Innovation drives everything. If you're not ahead of the curve, it may mean your business is about to become obsolete. Hackathons are more than just brainstorming sessions where ideas are created, but nothing happens. With a hackathon, you bring together diverse skill sets and you build out an idea from conception to MVP over the course of 12/24/48 hours.
2. You Want to Bring Your Team Together
If you have a team already, hackathons are can bring your team together. The traditional methods for inspiring change can take a long time and that can drain team morale. With a hackathon, you’re letting everyone on your team have their voices heard. Your team is coming together to discuss current problems they see and create viable solutions.
If you don’t have a team, hackathons are a great way to meet new people with diverse skill sets. Innovation can only truly happen when when you bring people with different perspectives together. The fast-paced nature of a hackathon can create the foundation for a professional relationship, even if your team doesn’t continue with your project when the hackathon ends.
3. You Want to Expand Your Network
Hackathons aren’t only for coders. You need a diverse group of people with diverse skill sets and levels of expertise if you want a successful hackathon. That means a more fleshed-out final product and the hackers get to connect with people from a variety of backgrounds.
If you’re new to your area’s local innovation scene, a hackathon is a great introduction. If you want to meet more marketers, coders, designers, etc., a hackathon will bring you to them.
Hackathons bring people with a shared interest together. It may be for a specific non-profit or social cause, it may be for a specific type of technology. Hackathons bring people together and let them work together to create something meaningful.
4. You Want to Expand Your Skill Sets
While you may not become an expert coder over a weekend hackathon, you can stretch your wings and try new things.
Even if you have a marketing guru on your team, everyone is going to have to chip in to create the marketing strategy, imagery, and wording for your project. Even if you have a top coder, everyone is going to discuss features and what your app is going to do. Even if you have a business expert, everyone is going to have a say in what differentiates you from competitors.
You don’t have to be an expert to join a hackathon, but you will get the opportunity to create a business from the ground up.
5. You Need Creativity
Creativity and innovation go hand-in-hand. Innovation means working outside of the box and that requires creativity. The monotony of your day-to-day schedule may mean you aren’t getting the chance to mentally explore.
Creativity is like any other skill. The more you practice, the better you are. Hackathons are a great way to inject creativity and excitement into your life. You get to look at problems from different perspectives to create viable solutions. The more you innovate, the better you become at building engaging, creative solutions.
6. You're In A Time Crunch
Hackathons are measured in hours. If you need to solve a problem quickly, a hackathon is a great way to do just that.
If you have a team and problem already in place, you can jump straight into a hackathon. Hackathons start with brainstorming solutions, but you also create a final product. You do research on competitors and the market. You do some condensed customer discovery. You walk away with an MVP.
If you’re looking to quickly inspire an innovative solution, a hackathon is the best way to do so.
7. You Want to Have Fun
Most hackers attend multiple hackathons because they’re fun. The prizes may be a draw, but hackers enjoy hackathons. You get the chance to work with new people on a project of your choosing. The sky's the limit.
You get to connect with new people to create something you’re passionate about. Food is provided and there may be workshops or relaxing events scheduled, but people come to hackathons to hack. You’re creating something new over the course of a weekend. That’s exhilarating. There’s nothing quite like a hackathon and that’s what makes them so fun.