Hackathons (see definition below) were once seen as the preserve of hooded coders developing some new app in a matter of days or hours. However, the word is now used in a much broader sense and the corporate world have begun to pick up on this concept too. A hackathon (also known as a hack day, hackfest or codefest) is an event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development, including graphic designers, interface designers and project managers, collaborate intensively on software projects. Wikipedia. In fact a few years ago, I was involved in facilitating a number of hackathon-type events at Innovate UK's Digital Catapult where we faced challenges posed by Health Care and Social Care professionals. There was not any actual coding undertaken, but business models were developed and presented cobbling together ideas from technology-based entrepreneurs working alongside the care problem owners. A recent Harvard Business Review article had a look at corporate hackathons and listed these benefits:
- they stoke the creative mindset
- they force empathy with customers
- they ask the right questions
- they prototype and test ideas rapidly
- they nurture and expand the best ideas
Read about our service offering at Disrupt Hackathons To get more information read the Harvard Business Review article: "Hackathon's aren't just for coders" and the McKinsey article called "Demystifying the hackathon".