Hackathons are the cherry on top of all other innovation processes: they promote multidisciplinary collaboration, result in several quality ideas, are usually cheaper than other innovation methods, and the most important - they are fast! The task of developing a new technology and come up with a killer product goes from weeks of work to typically 48 hours! Considering nowadays fast-changing consumer demands, moving ideas into prototypes in just a few days can make the difference for your company, don’t you think?
At Facebook, hackathons started to be just a small internal event with its employees working all night trying to prototype new features for the social network. Meanwhile, because of its results, the event has grown to be part of the company’s culture. Features such as the Like and chat buttons, and Facebook’s timeline, were created during these hackathons. However, it’s not only the results that make these events great, they also reinforce that failure is ok and not being afraid to fail is crucial for innovation to happen. Projects are never going to be perfect and that’s alright – even more if you consider they were built during a single night. Moreover, the opportunity to work with people from other departments within the company – and so learning from them and creating new relationships – is another thing Facebook employees value a lot. Hackathons are so popular in the company, that some of them attract more than 500 people!
Whether you prefer to launch an internal hackathon, or one opened to the community, where external innovators can join with fresh new ideas, it could be just perfect to generate new ideas to face the troubled times we are living.
Are some of your employees still working remotely? No problem! While there are some obvious advantages of onsite hackathons, there are also a few benefits of organizing an online one. Starting with a very basic point: the costs. You will need a platform to facilitate the communication among participants and organizers (we can help with that!), but apart from it, you won’t have any other costs, which means, your company will save on venue, transportation, staff, coffee breaks, etc. Cutting on all of this stuff also has an impact on the environment: less waste produced, and less CO2 emitted to the atmosphere. Another advantage is the fact that there are no geographic constraints, therefore, your teams can not only be multidisciplinary but also multinational.
Moreover, the projects delivered will have better quality and will be more complete, as online hackathons last longer than onsite ones. Finally, a BIG advantage to keep in mind: remember the last event you attended in which you met a lot of interesting people with who you never talked again? Well, it might be because it feels awkward to text someone without a valid reason. Oh, wait, text how? You forgot to ask for their socials. Maybe you will talk with that person again next year. Or maybe you won’t see them again. Ever. Here’s why it happens: there’s a gap between the physical interaction that happened during the event and potential online interaction after the event. In online events? No gap. Participants can interact after the hackathon without feeling awkward, they can simply keep chatting as the event is still happening. The same is valid between organizers and participants.
Ready to start organizing a virtual hackathon for your company? Using our platform will help you set up your online hackathon for the right audience (as we count with a growing tech community always looking for a new challenge!) and set reasonable goals and timings for the work developed. Besides, communication is very easy and intuitive, both among participants, and between teams and organizers, who can easily monitor and couch the participants. And, because we want innovators to have fun while working on their projects, we provide real-time competition leaderboards, innovators, and juries rankings. Along all the process, count with us to support you and the participants, and to answer all the questions you might have. Together, let’s make of an online hackathon the driving force behind your company’s success, shall we?
If you would like to read about online hackathons we organized in the past, we are happy to share it with you, check it here.