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Hackathons can activate a tech-savvy community to rally around a cause and help. It often fosters the desire in the participants to keep working on the projects after the hackathon is over to see their projects implemented.
Hackathons can expose a community of developers to new technologies while the technology providers get in-depth feedback and the knowledge of watching how their tech is used “in the wild.”
Hackathons allows companies looking to hire to see beyond a resume of potential employees. A well themed hackathon identifies people who have a common passion with your organization and expose their behavior through the range of experiences an employee faces while working.
A hackathon’s framework is a great way to surface, develop or identify new IP, as it provides a risk-free environment to crack a specific challenge or simply leave room for spontaneous brilliance.
Hackathons are where those with the passion and abilities to problem-solve, build something out of nothing. But in their day job, most developers are looking to minimize risk, so they stick with tried and true software, hardware and processes, which can stagnate innovation. In a hackathon, the risk of failure is minimal or nonexistent and participants are encouraged to forget all of the regulations, restrictions and reservations they are often seeped in and instead be free to experiment, envision and exercise their innovative freedom.
Hackathons can serve as vehicle to position its hosts and sponsors as corporate changemakers by demonstrating investment in the social coding movement.
The reasons to host a hackathon generally fall into two categories of objectives: participant-focused (Community Creation, Developer Engagement and Recruiting), or output-focused (Innovation and IP Development); branding can be either participant- or output-focused. Whatever your goal, determining your primary objective is critical to the success of your hackathon.
If your objective is people-focused, then determine who the people you want to engage with and build the hackathon to suit them. If your objective is output-focused, then determine what the outputs you want are, and invite the right people to make it happen.
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