The added value

of hackathons.

Based on some feedback of people about our last article, we decided to share a little something about why we think hackathons matter and why it isn’t distraction or a waste of time for your business.


Playtime

Our company Grible focusses on building data-driven software. We’re building applications and doing data-analytics projects for clients. Hackathons are a great way to play around, learn new stuff and spark the imagination around a long term plan we still have in the back of our minds: building our own product.

The Next Web Hack Battle is one of those hackathons a few of us already visited a couple more times and is worth getting back to every year. In general it’s hard work and long hours but feels nothing like it. For us, it’s just playtime and it actually helps…

So you guys are doing hackathons…
Isn’t all that ‘playtime’ just distraction?

Not at all. We actually think it’s a good thing for several reasons. We strive to do innovative stuff and matter the fact is: innovation merely comes from research and things that don’t always appear to be relevant for business at that specific point in time. We contribute to research but also try to forget about boundaries and get some creative juices flowing during hackathons. It’s a good way to force yourself to think differently.

“It’s good way to help you think differently.”

It also forces you to think in bare essentials. While getting the craziest and coolest ideas during a brainstorm, it’s needed to strip those ideas down to the bare essentials. What’s the core of an idea? What can we actually build in only 48 hours…

In a certain way it helps you think out of the box beforehand but also helps you with the thought process of exactly the opposite in a later stage; what’s relevant now and how can we translate crazy ideas to something minimal that’s still useful. In that sence, it helps us think in a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). A pretty useful exercise for our long term goal: building a product. It also helps when giving advice to your clients…

Last but not least: it makes you stand out. Grible is a relatively new player in the software and data-analytics field. We’re twentysomethings with an entrepreneurial spirit and a huge dose of passion and ambition for what we’re doing. Unfortunately, that’s not enough. Hackathons and side-projects help us to stand-out. It allows you to show off some skills and put your name out there. Some of those projects might actually help you get customers for your core-business — see this article.

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