The term ‘hackathon’ may sound intimidating, but it could be huge for your company. In case you’re not familiar with the idea, it was popularized by tech companies. Essentially, you pack a room full of engineers, programmers, and techies, get them fired up with pizza and energy drinks, and tell them to get hacking! Hacking in this case meaning take a focus area and collaborate to design, build or demonstrate something new — something they didn’t normally work on.
There are plenty of success stories to back it up. Facebook’s “like” button and chat feature were both the result of hackathons, and the security of Google’s Chrome browser is tested during a yearly hackathon, offering cash prizes for those who breach the system.
There are typically no limits except for the time constraint, though specific industries and companies will host hackathons in search of targeted innovation. Any type of company can take advantage of a hackathon; not just tech companies.
Hackathons can be used by any company in search of innovation from within. The magic of the hackathon lies in the unfettered creativity it unleashes and encourages — your employees probably have some ideas about where the company needs to improve, and a hackathon is a good way to bring those ideas to the forefront and test them.
For instance, while a marketing company may not be developing the next Facebook “like” button, it could use a hackathon to find new ways to harvest or track sales data. A public relations firm could use a hackathon to draw out new ways to create and use multimedia content in their outreach efforts, while an agricultural company could host a hackathon in search of advances in crop planning and management. The hackathon is designed to draw out innovation from wherever and whoever within a company.
While you’re hacking away, IPR offers hosted services to ensure business continuity. Check out more information here.