The In50hrs Blog
Conversations on Building Prototypes + In50hrs
Wednesday
Sep182013

Why #in50hrs doesn't declare winners

 

  

Time and time again people ask us who are the winners of In50hrs and what do they get. I stop and ponder for a while and I realize that there are a lot of hackathons where there are prizes and winners being announced.

We had written a post earlier on how In50hrs is an Idea-to-Prototype event and not a hackathon. The difference is that, a prototype becomes a product and a product becomes a startup.  a hack... err, what do they become? Well, We havent quite figured out the answer to that. Most of the times, it doesnt become anything.

We realized after a few editions of In50hrs, that the "winners" we announced were the first to drop off. Teams dispersed and never did anything beyond that. Whereas the ones that built a prototype but didnt win, went off to do something beyond it - sometimes just to prove that they were the better ones.

On analysing this we realized it was a matter of satisfying vs gratifying. One a team has "won", the mindset is that of a milestone crossed, mission accomplished and it is very hard to rally a team to still stick around. Once goals are met, teams dispurse. But with nothing more than a prototype in hand, you still have the onus of customer development, to go into the market (aka, get the hell out of the building) and talk to people and validate what you started off with. If you don't follow up with that step, the prototype building process was a weekend getaway, with nothing to show for.

As per our statistics, one third of the teams that come together at In50hrs stay together post the event and ship the product - at the least an alpha launch page. Its a huge gulf crossed, because once people sign up, wanting to test the product the team gains momentum to wanting to launch it.

 

We try to delay the gratification and are consciously steering clear to give any signs that you have crossed the well. Until you hit customers, launch, and get real users behind your product you haven't. And when you do that, the market will tell you whether you won or not, or if its time to go back to the drawing board. In any case, none of us - not even the jurors (who are mislabelled at in50hrs) have a say in that.

Monday
Sep162013

Ideas Pitched / Prototyped at In50hrs Pune 5

1. InstaMe
Digital Business cards that are easy to share via Mobile - aimed at freelance professionals who want to build a following, the less tech-savvy way. They prototyped a way to build and share a passbook file that you can keep on your phone and share.
The app even lets you track how many people have your contact on their phones - and you can update/send a message if you are doing a new dance class batch etc.
2. LetsshareRide
A mobile app that allows anyone - with a car or motorbike to become a carpooler, on the go. Turn on "Carpool mode" and commuters can coordinate with you for a pickup and share a ride.
3. Slambook
Nostalgic about the slambook era where friends wrote about their fond memories of you? Well, now its online in Digital form.
4. Pracly
Pracly allows entrepreneurs, product managers and anyone who is creating value to find the right support they require, by connecting them to mentors and experts. You book a time, pay for it, and you get a fixed timeslot with a mentor/expert to get personal advice for a specific issue. Live at www.pracly.in
5. OfferBol
Allows you to find deals of local stores nearby.
6. Obhiyo
Been in a situation where a friend sold his used book. And you went and bought the same book for new and didnt know someone in your own network had it for sale? Well, Obhiyo aims to solve that.
7. Hackreward
Hackreward is solving the problem of recruitment and talent search by leveraging the github repository, setup by companies, aiding applicants to collaboratively build "systems", not write modular code or solve mathematical algorithms and use the community to spot the best talent. Live at www.hackreward.com (the final codebase yet to be uploaded)
8. Narad
A Hardware based prototype that is like a portable NAS (Network Attached Storage) that you can use to move files between SD Cards, USB drives, Camera , Mobile Etc. What do they solve - well those times when your camera is running full and you need to dump it into a storage device, but cant do it without a PC nearby.
Next Event - in Chennai on Sept 27th (www.in50hrs.com/chennai)
====================================
The Three Ideas that didn't move to the Prototype Stage.
1. A Solution for screening Fraudulent Resumes
2. A peer to peer rental platform
3. A Local platform for buyers/sellers
The teams will be announcing when the prototypes go live, via the In50hrs Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/in50hrs/ - you can join, if you'd like to be kept updated and want to give feedback to the teams.
Wednesday
May082013

How to make a pitch (at In50hrs)?

We've done a post earlier on how to pitch to a team mate. Since we are scaling up to a few more locations, we thought it would make sense for folks to understand the format of what goes into a pitch when you attend In50hrs.

Each Pitch in In50hrs is timed at 3 minutes. For an effective pitch, this is the outline to follow:

1. Introduce yourself.

2. Explain the problem statement.

3. Explain the solution you are proposing

4. Briefly mention what your strengths are, what you bring to the table, and what you are looking for.

If you'd like a breakup of the time, the recommended format is: 30 seconds - Two Minutes - One minute and 30 seconds.

Now, remember what the adage says, "Practice makes perfect". Practice your pitch before you arrive at the event, it makes all the difference.

 

Saturday
Mar162013

In50hrs: Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events (Till July 2013):

Pune 3rd Edition

April 5th - April, 7th, 2013 

Chennai 8th Edition
April 19th - April 21st, 2013

Trivandrum 1st Edition
May 3rd - May 5th, 2013

Bangalore 3rd Edition
May 24th - May 26th, 2013

Pune 4th Edition
June 14th - June 16th, 2013

Saturday
Mar162013

Announcement: Hello to Trivandrum. Goodbye Delhi.

Honestly, this has been a long time coming, but we needed some sure shot data before we made the call. With In50hrs Bangalore underway and having to announce the next set of dates for the events, we thought it was time we made the announcement.

The Story of Delhi:

We love the city of Delhi. Just being in the city brings back feelings and emotions like any other, but its also been a tough city to grow an ecosystem. Personally, we've done several efforts in the past to grow a community there - via OCC etc, but the understanding has been very clear - if people from elsewhere can grow a community, Silicon valley would have remote branches by now. Communities can only be grown locally. All other factors are a matter of support and strengthening. We havent been able to find that anchor. I believe events like Startup Weekend, PeerHack and Product Nation will be the one to build that community. Which also means Delhi has options and we are leaving it to good hands.

We did two editions in Delhi, and the logistical cost of bringing team, materials, and getting the word out (for an event where the principal objective is not to make money) didnt make sense - not with the fact that there is a lack of a community, and Delhi is overly business sided that makes technical hackathons and prototyping events quite a challenge. We were constantly getting requests from a lot of folks asking, if they come and pitch on Friday, if we'll have the prototype ready by Sunday - that's delhi for you. Quick, and to the Point - on the Business front.

We run these efforts on shoestring budgets. And The Startup Centre is a Startup of Startups - we arent venture funded, or backed by a large corporate. Its a small group of individuals wanting to make a difference and hopefully build a viable business model around it - by virtue of making entrepreneurs succeed extremely well. Somewhere there was a disconnect.

 

Hello Trivandrum

Make no doubts about it though, we are expanding. There are two more cities coming up, but we wanted to see and strengthen where we are far more effective. We have been taking a call, and even asking people from our community where they are based out of and would like an event like In50hrs.

Kerala has been on our minds for a while now, and it was just a matter of picking between Cochin and Trivandrum. (Cochin is still in the race though).

So we want to do one edition of In50hrs in Trivandrum. We are not sure if that IS the place in Kerala or If Cochin is the place, but the participation we see should help make that decision. 

As a Startup, it all fundamentally comes down to one rule: Try a lot, keep what works, cut off what isnt working. So we are trying a lot. And hopefully will continue doing more of what and where its working.

In the meantime, We look forward to saying Hello to Trivandrum.

Trivandrum 1st Edition
May 3rd - May 5th, 2013

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