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 (www.in50hrs.com) Participants. It more or less would apply for any hackathon.
To-Dos Before the Event:
Entrepreneur / Idea (Wo)Man
- Identify the Domain that is your strength
- Identify Pain Points based on Your Insights of the Industry/ Domain
- Brainstorm various ideas / Solutions around that Pain Point
- Jot them all down
- Start Your Market Research :
- How do Potential customers currently navigate that pain point
- What could they use as Alternatives (mark as competitors)
- Clearly Identify what would set you apart in terms of the solution to solve that pain paint more elegantly.
- Form the Pitch.
- Define one or two key features that would be required to demonstrate how the solution works (and its differentiation).
- Test if you are right - If you take out that one key feature, nothing should make sense.
- Define it as your MVP.
- 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.
- You are all set.
- Brush up on your technology skillsets.
- Track the Twitter Stream under the hashtag #in50hrs to locate potential entrepreneurs looking for developers
- If you spot an interesting idea, ping, connect, understand the problem being solved. Think about it. Take sometime.
- Connect back with the Entrepreneur. Research and identify the right tools / framework to implement the solution.
- 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)
- Have an open mind to work with the team
- Get a good night’s rest and come for the event.
- Brush up on your design skillsets.
- Track the Twitter Stream under the hashtag #in50hrs to locate entrepreneurs and developers looking for team mates
- If you spot an interesting idea, ping, connect and understand the problem the entrepreneur is trying to solve and the take of the developer.
- 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.
- Connect back with team, and propose the plan.
- Download the Appropriate Tools and have it installed on your machine.
- 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.