Save 37% off PRO during our Black Friday Sale! »

Don't Throw that Hackathon

10831877bd394c902f1dda20524c86d6?s=47 Swift
October 25, 2013

Don't Throw that Hackathon

These are my slides and a paraphrased summary of my talk from the API Strategy & Practice Conference in San Francisco.



October 25, 2013


  1. Don’t Throw THAT Hackathon by @SwiftAlphaOne

  2. Note: Not Ryan Gosling. @SwiftAlphaOne

  3. What is a Hackathon?

  4. None
  5. 0 30 60 90 Q4/2011 Q1/2012 Q2/2012 Q3/2012 Q4/2012 Q1/2013

    Q2/2013 Q3/2013 Hackathons are on the Rise
  6. Why are companies going to Hackathons?

  7. 3Reasons Companies go to hackathons. main

  8. Product Feedback #1.

  9. Optimize our product’s developer experience by directly interacting with customers

    as they integrate and use it.
  10. None
  11. Mindshare & perception #2.

  12. Mindshare & perception #2. (a.k.a. Marketing)

  13. Acquire developer mindshare and trust by associating our brand with

    awesome stuff.
  14. None
  15. Change the way developers perceive us by associating our brand

    with awesome stuff.
  16. None
  17. Recruiting Top Talent #3.

  18. Actively identifying, approaching, and investing in top hacker talent.

  19. None
  20. “Lots of really innovative companies are doing this ‘hackathon’ thing.”

    We should too!
  21. Seriously though,

  22. Don’t Throw THAT Hackathon

  23. That sounds Counter-intuitive.

  24. “What are you hoping to accomplish by throwing a hackathon?”

    if you can’t answer this question, don’t throw that hackathon.
  25. build A (startup | app) #1. using my products

  26. Hacks are not startups. Hacks are not long term commitments.

    Hacks are just hacks.
  27. Better Solution: Month-long App Contest

  28. spawn innovation #2.around my industry

  29. Real innovation doesn’t usually happen over a weekend.

  30. Better Solution: Innovation Grant / Fund

  31. Meet & support #3.My community

  32. Hackathons & conferences really don’t mix well.

  33. Better Solution: Throw a conference / Meetup.

  34. When should I throw my own Hackathon?

  35. There Aren’t any #1. events nearby

  36. x x x Protip: No NYC, Boston, or SF.

  37. You’re Targeting #2. specific folks

  38. You’re Launching #3. Something new

  39. Thanks I’m @SwiftAlphaOne on Twitter.