5 reasons why hackathons are essential
From an unknown word itself to a trail of strong (but sometimes very empty) supplementing nouns: teamwork, creativity, new ideas, innovation. Yes, hackathon has earned a strong position in the urban dictionary. However, it can do much more than paint mind maps and showcase creative thoughts. Hackathons became essential and here are 5 reasons why.
Despite numerous myths of a lone genius, innovations are rarely (if ever!) a product of a single individual. In fact, they occur when previously isolated ideas are combined. Having four best developers on the team is unlikely to bring success. The beauty of innovation lies in combining different backgrounds and different skill sets.
Even if you are a lonely wolf, NOT-networking during a hackathon is simply impossible. Being under time pressure, closely collaborating with your teammates and participating in uncountable sessions of brainstorming leaves no-one behind. Networking is the essence of every hackathon. Cope with that.
Path to a startup life
Doesn’t matter if a great idea is already planted in your head or you’re looking to join forces of someone else: that is what hackathons are made for. No doubt – a very few hackathons actually yield successful startups. Factors like hand-on mentors, experienced organizers and an idea with a great potential, however, can become a breeding ground for the next big thing.
EasyTaxi has proved it right. From an idea developed during the Startup Weekend in Rio in 2011 and a pioneer online taxi service in Latin America in 2012 to one of the most popular mobility apps currently available in 30 countries and 420 cities.
Investing money into education is nothing new. Getting technical skills for free, however, is. Hackathon organizers tend to host events around particular technology and provide the environment, tools and mentors to accompany the process of creation.
Solving real problems
We live in a world with plenty of big problems: poverty, crime, lack of access to education or health care, environmental crises – and the list goes on. Don´t get me wrong – a weekend event are not designed to solve big world issues. It can, however, make some dents in some of the most intractable problems, providing valuable insights, networks and solutions that can then be taken and applied in smaller communities.
<Br/eak> Poverty Hackathon is one example that tackles global poverty. Bringing Canadian and Kenyan software developers together, it focuses on finding hardware and mobile web solutions to improve education, agriculture and health conditions in rural areas in Kenya. Cross-cultural collaboration enables the implementation of products that are not just cool – they have the power to immensely change lives.