We Believe that Hackers Are the Alchemists of Our Time… The Masters of the Binary Evolution. FAR TOO MANY people still envision hackers as evil. The name hacker itself to most conjures up images of some basement-dwelling, pimply geek who gets off on trying to hack the Pentagon or MI5… or even worse, messes with ordinary peoples’ computers making misery of our lives as we battle spam, malware, Trojans and other forms of time-wasting and spending money hand over fist getting things back to normal.
But actually, as the English lexicon evolves the idea of hacking and hackers is changing. And the Hackathon is a huge reason for the change. Are you not sure you really know what a hackathon really is? Check here in Wikipedia.
Basically, it’s a short term innovation event that uses advanced game mechanics and design to create a competition which helps drive innovation in a very short space of time. In Real Time. Most of the time… during a live event, but also can be held online and virtually.
Hackers are the alchemists of the 21st century — speaking the language of code — that drives so much of our lives this millennium. The coders, the developers, the designers, the user experience experts and even the digital entrepreneurs are a new breed of shaman that are redesigning how we communicate and interact in our brave new world.
The average smartphone owner in the UK checks their smartphone over 100 times a day – and the smartphone user experience and user interface are largely a creation of the kind of people who attend our hackathons. They have a serious amount of influence in most people’s lives, quite unlike any other device in the history of mankind.
‘Hackers’ speak many languages, but in principle what makes them alchemists — is they all speak the mysterious language of “code.” Forget Esperanto… code is the lingo that essentially is binding us all into one universal binary language.
The playground of the new generation of hackers is what is called the Hackathon — a portmanteau of “Hack” and “Marathon.” And in its essence it’s about Rapid Prototyping, Cooperation and Co-Creation.
And now, we are solving medical problems, civic issues, makings sense of massive amounts of data we are building via our digital universe, and reconnecting our world in the Internet of Things via hackathons.
Hackathons, or Hackfests, used to be the domain of coding geeks getting together to show off their talents. Whilst that remains, the essential heart of the hackathon businesses are increasingly realising their worth too – and grasping the opportunity with both hands.
Apple, Facebook and Google are just a few of the companies that have opened up their ecosystems and essentially outsourced innovation to the masses and have hundreds of thousands of developers and others building products for them on ‘spec’. These massive developer communities are helping them truly innovate.
But through Hackathons the same potential is open to any company or traditional event organiser since a hackathon is but a microcosm of that scenario. Getting involved in a hackathon allows hackathon partners to bring technologies like SDKs and APIs for third party creative and developer minds to look at through a new lens. Or simply allows a venue for hackathon partners to present problems that need to be solved.
Add in a few great prizes to help inspire their thinking and the result could be new ideas that traditional corporate R&D teams may never even have dreamed of. The big boys like Apple and Facebook have shown it is the way of the future. Facebook’s own ‘like’ button for example came from a hackathon. Now we can bring that future to you.
Forget hacking the Pentagon or MI6 this is hacking for good and for innovation.
It is the chance for creatives, developers, coders, and entrepreneurs to get together, get creative and get to build cool stuff. It really is that simple.
When we co-create a hackathon, we give the developers and creatives involved the problems and/or the APIs, SDKs and data supplied by our partners (or supply them from our API partners) – and then challenge them with briefs to code/design/engineer/make and break for 48 hours, building prototype solutions or ideas that drive ideas into the future.
It’s very simple. We love what we do. And more importantly…