Why I Shut Down My Company for 24 Hours

At exactly 3:30 PM on Thursday, March 26, Lemonly employees stepped away from client work and met in our conference room. From here, we randomly split into five teams via drawing names from a hat. HQ employees divided into four teams and remote employees formed a team as well.

Via @johntmeyer on Instagram. See note on right.

I gave each group a $50 dollar budget and 24 hours to come up with ideas for an app, product, document, system, or process all directed towards improving Lemonly. Truly the only rule was stated as, “create something that makes Lemonly better.” The $50 dollars could be used for domain purchases, supplies, or brain fuel like beer and food.

The directions are intentionally vague. To me, it makes the most sense to have people from the company fix the challenges they face everyday. Every employee has an idea of how they could make their life easier at Lemonly, so build it.

One team had two developers and another comprised solely of designers, proposing both unique advantages and disadvantages. Interestingly enough, four teams tackled two similar issues, including project timelines and internal database file nomenclature and structure.

At 3:30 on Friday, teams had five minutes to present or demonstrate project ideas to the entire company and a few office neighbors. After presentations, everyone voted for their favorite idea excluding their own.

The Lemonly Hackathon is an invaluable experience because at the very least it becomes a team bonding activity, and at the very most it brings awareness to areas we can improve for ourselves and our clients. Not to mention, the problems we solve for Lemonly may carry over to problems other companies face as well.

Stay tuned for more details on some of the new ideas and products to be released. We look forward to some of these ideas creeping their way into Lemonly work this summer.

It’s truly amazing what you can accomplish with groups working closely together. We definitely plan to continue the hackathon tradition once if not twice a year.

This article was originally posted on the Lemonly Blog.

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