I didn’t win, but I came out ahead

My final prototype

Today was the final day of the hackathon. I stayed up late last night paring down my plans. At previous hackathons I have made the mistake of biting off a bit more than I could chew. This time around, I feel like I oversimplified, but in doing so, I feel more confident overall when it comes to product design in the real world.

I’ve read many different blogs and I’ve had many different ideas on product development as a result of all of the reading.

This past weekend I finally put those learnings to use. I wanted to see if I could create a single focus product, avoid frills and potentially confusing features, and then arrive at an MVP.

I feel like I accomplished this goal. It wasn’t one of the finalists, but I achieved something I never really did before. I wasn’t panicked or rushing and trying to fix bug after bug.

The end product had three main functions, a stopwatch, a timer, and a Timestamp function.

There are only two buttons for the user to interact with the product. A back button to change modes or leave the current mode, and a action button that starts the mode or performs additional actions based on the mode.

Once a mode is started, after certain criteria is met, data gets sent to the cloud where it becomes available for a mobile app to download for later viewing.

I did everything within the timeframe of the Hackathon and learned a lot more about the Edison development board than I would have either on my own or at an 8 hour day seminar.

I’ve gone to presentations where a speaker talks about a development board and there usually is a lab component. These have numerous issues and ironically everyone is trying the same exact thing.

At a hackathon, there are some similar issues that crop up, but everyone tries to move past whatever blocks their way in whatever creative approach they can take.

I learned a lot, and I have a pretty cool MVP.

From here, I merely need to figure out how to properly capture the spirit, momentum, and aptitude I had throughout the past 24 hours and tap into those whenever I can.

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