Hack For: A platform to make hackathons work for real world problems
Created by Rowan Wernham.
I'm a Designer in New York, NY. I work at Snapr. I earned a M.A. from University of Auckland.
*UPDATE - Slide deck with initial research outline posted here: http://www.slideshare.net/rowanwernham/hack-for?utm_source=ss&utm_medium=upload&utm_campaign=quick-view
A different approach to Hackathons that follows the lean startup model of creating products in response to the needs of a real market.
Instead of developers arriving at an event with an idea, or jamming something up in response to the API's provided, how about a process & product that:
- Facilitates research about a certain group of people prior to the event.
- Allows for identification of problems they might have.
- Sets the stage for a hackathon that responds to those needs.
- Involves the target user group in the judging and testing of the prototypes.
- Includes a plan to continue development of the best ideas into real products.
Hackathon's might not solely be based around tech products - in some cases it might be more appropriate to assemble architecture students, physical product designers, or others such as social workers.
For running the actual event we would use existing platforms such as CollabFinder.
In order to justify involving real people in the research phase it would be important to make sure they get something back out of the hackathon projects.
We will develop some ideas for how to make sure the best projects aren't just abandoned after the event, for example:
-Cash Prizes might include milestones for further product development.
-Protocols to make sure projects include basic documentation before teams disperse.
Hackathons bring together pools of clever people who are prepared to give their time to build a solution or idea - it would be great to more frequently put that resource to use on real world problems, and to create some outcomes that have a longer lifespan.
Wireframe a product prototype and get feedback
Create a working prototype
Trial an event