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Innovation and Hackathon

Why hackathons are critical for organizations? Hackathon has literally become the trending term in businesses these days. Whether it's team building, learning, innovation, evangelizing or simply the love of technology – Hackathon has become a sort-of ritual in the current tech world. Previously, we have all seen hackathons at MIT, Techcrunch Disrupt, Penn Hack, CodeMash etc. to explore new ideas and do things quickly. You might be amazed to know this - but the culture of hackathon is so popular in valley area that one of the hackathons is based on theme -  "STUPID *** NO ONE NEEDS & TERRIBLE IDEAS HACKATHON" .

Hackathons aren’t just for the start-up tech world anymore. Big organizations and MNCs are also using the same principles to shake the rigidness and institutional inertia to instill more innovation driven cultures. Personally, I have always been a great admirer of the thought – Ready, Fire and Aim which is like the basic philosophy of hackathons .

Satya Nadella, Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft has often said -  "Our world of technology doesn't respect traditions but innovation"  and Hackathons seems to be a great way to promote innovation and bring the wave of creative disruption in a corporate environment. Steve Blank, a Silicon Valley serial-entrepreneur, academician and Lean Startup Movement founder while emphasizing the importance of innovation in success of a company said that -  "Continuous innovation requires, continuous disruption".

Large organization has particularly benefitted a lot from hackathons by using them as a medium for digital transformation. Hackathons allow big organization to operate like a startup in which the focus is more on hacking your way to solve a problem quickly, instead of bothering about anything else. We have seen it multiple times in India and around the globe that some outstanding ideas have come out of hackathons for these large organization. You don’t need to go too far – We all know the story of Tinder. Yes! Tinder came out of a hackathon organized at the loyalty app department at Imagine - a weekend hack giving an app which changes the whole dating industry. According to online sources, Tinder has been valued around $ 5 Bn in recent round of internal funding.

There are tons of example of Microsoft, Google and other tech titans have remained relevant to the industry by continuous innovation and hackathons certainly played a big role as the magic box to find revolutionary ideas and products.

Let's look at why every organisation should organize hackathons:

1. Innovation: As said by Board of innovation, "Organisations that look for a challenging way to explore the potential of a product, service or idea. Engaged corporate teams that like to be pulled out of their comfort zone and that want to be a part of an intensive but unforgettable startup experience." In short, if you want to reinvent one of your existing products or innovate, a hackathon is what you’re looking for!

2. Learning experienceHackathons give chance to Programmers/ Designers/Engineers to flex their creative musclesimplement tech skills and also gives an opportunity to learn about new stuff and how to get things done quickly. Each and every individual at hacks, be it developers, designers and product people they come out of hackathon feeling as though they’ve learned something and feel a sense of achievement turning their ideas into reality

3. Hustle: "Industries that you would never think are trying see how they can harvest the benefits of hackathons," says Angelhack founder Sabeen Ali. "It’s decentralizing their IT in favor of a greater collaboration between developers, marketers, and CEOs to create products or simply get ideas flowing outside the typically constrained box. "

Thanks for reading the blog post. I would love to discuss and brainstorm on your hackathon plans and what you think about them? Feel free to tweet @NowayHeCodes for any comments, suggestions and discussions. 

Let's create a community which breathes innovation and doer attitude. Let's #Hack!