The In50hrs Blog
Conversations on Building Prototypes + In50hrs

A Prototype vs A Hack

In50hrs is an Idea-to-Prototype Event. its been designed that way. Some ask us how its different from a hackathon. We think there are some differences to it, and rather crucial ones.

We've been talking to quite a few folks who run Hackathons - primarily are run by companies to get a developer community build deeper engagement with their platform - and the tune we hear seems common; not enough companies emerge out of it.

In the last one year, over four editions of In50hrs, we've had 100+ prototypes built and roughly 20 odd startups emerge. Are they billion dollar companies? Time will tell, but the evolution of an idea - prototype - product - startup route seems to be emerging.

Hacks don't necessarily become products. Prototypes do. Developers and technologists hack. Product Managers prototype their ideas. 

Hacks are solutions to fix a problem - in some cases as a temporary measure. Prototypes are the first step towards creating a long term solution towards a bigger problem.

Most hacks - and hackathons - are a great way to build expertise in a domain, on a platform or in using a tool. Prototypes are slightly wider, constantly keeping the problem that is being solved in mind.

While there are plenty of hackathons around, why are we building a platform for idea-to-prototypes? Because anything that is not managed deteriorates and anything that comes out of a system without the adequate processes is an accident. Rarely do startups, product prototypes and ideas emerge out of sheer chaos. It has to be engineered that way.


Attending a Weekend Prototype Event? Your Pre-Event Checklist.

It looks like there is a very healthy product building ecosystem emerging, with plenty of avenues for entrepreneurs, designers and developers to come together and experiment with new ideas. As well intended as all events are, the one thing that is against you is time. Can you get a Prototype out in a Weekend? Absolutely. But you also have to do some groundwork BEFORE you land up in the event.
Here's a small list that we started putting together for the In50hrs ( Participants. It more or less would apply for any hackathon.
To-Dos Before the Event:
Entrepreneur / Idea (Wo)Man
  1. Identify the Domain that is your strength
  2. Identify Pain Points based on Your Insights of the Industry/ Domain
  3. Brainstorm various ideas / Solutions around that Pain Point
  4. Jot them all down
  5. Start Your Market Research :
  6. How do Potential customers currently navigate that pain point
  7. What could they use as Alternatives (mark as competitors)
  8. Clearly Identify what would set you apart in terms of the solution to solve that pain paint more elegantly.
  9. Form the Pitch.
  10. Define one or two key features that would be required to demonstrate how the solution works (and its differentiation).
  11. Test if you are right - If you take out that one key feature, nothing should make sense.
  12. Define it as your MVP.
  13. Put yourself in the shoes of the user and think about the user flows - what all data needs to be taken from the user before giving desired result and how those data sources will be retrieved. If you have design sensibility, make a few wireframes for the same.
  14. You are all set.
  1. Brush up on your technology skillsets.
  2. Track the Twitter Stream under the hashtag #in50hrs to locate potential entrepreneurs looking for developers
  3. If you spot an interesting idea, ping, connect, understand the problem being solved. Think about it. Take sometime.
  4. Connect back with the Entrepreneur. Research and identify the right tools / framework to implement the solution.
  5. Download the appropriate IDEs / Tools and have it installed on your development machine. (Go with the familiar, this is NOT the time to upgrade to the newest release of a dev environment to realize it breaks everything you know)
  6. Have an open mind to work with the team
  7. Get a good night's rest and come for the event.
  1. Brush up on your design skillsets.
  2. Track the Twitter Stream under the hashtag #in50hrs to locate entrepreneurs and developers looking for team mates
  3. If you spot an interesting idea, ping, connect and understand the problem the entrepreneur is trying to solve and the take of the developer.
  4. Grasp the user flow as per the thought process of the entrepreneur and developer. Think of the User and optimize the UX and UI elements.
  5. Connect back with team, and propose the plan. 
  6. Download the Appropriate Tools and have it installed on your machine.
  7. You are all Set and ready to go.
Collectively: Think of a name that best matches the product. Have it as the "Working Title" of the Product.


Credit: Siddharta Govindaraj, Kausikram Krishnasayee, Vijay Anand


In50hrs is Back. Bigger and in a City Near You

In50hrs the flagship Idea-to-Prototype event of The Startup Centre, has taken on a new avatar, with its learnings from the past four editions that were conducted in its city of Origin - Chennai, Over the Year.

From the demand that the team has been receiving, we are taking this event Platform to four different cities this year - Chennai, Pune, Bangalore and Delhi. The event is getting kickstarted in its home city Chennai, Followed by Pune this Quarter.

So How does this affect an entrepreneur?
We see plenty of entrepreneurs who have an amazing Idea, but are rather reluctant to do anything about it because there is no nudge to get them to take that first step - to convert that idea into something that starts to work, the prototype.

In50hrs is a weekend event that brings together entrepreneurs with audacious ideas, kickass developers, and product designers together to build first version prototypes of the Product idea.

Over the past four events, In50hrs hours has seen more than 200 participants participate in the event, 100 odd prototypes being built and in its last count 20 startups that have emerged out of the same - not so surprisingly, quite a few of them being student startups.

If we can enable a student to become an entrepreneur and experience, and learn how to build a startup in the most cost-effective and safe environment, then we have achieved our goal to support any entrepreneur with their crazy idea.

The event also seeks to seed some depth in the kind of ideas that are coming out of India. Opportunities around the mobile and internet, leveraging the mobile subscriber base - with technologies such as NFC, Augmented reality etc are quite under exploited. There are some rather large opportunities that are prevalent in the enterprise segment as well - pain points that we hopefully will see solutions emerge around in these events.

Registrations are open for Chennai and Pune. Early bird registrations for Chennai close on 6th July - This Friday. So Hurry.

Page 1 ... 1 2 3 4