The FireText team wanted to try something a little different to the day-to-day last month and so we put together a two day hack event for the entire team, it was a huge success and we wanted to share our experience with you.
Traditionally ‘hackathons’ involve computer programmers working together to solve a problem or develop some new technology. However, we wanted to include everyone (including our tech team) in our hack, from the directors of the business to the marketing team, sales reps, finance and customer service team, everyone was invited to join in.
When it was announced that the hack was going to take place, everyone was keen to share and discuss their ideas on what to produce. We allocated some time together before the hack to pitch these ideas and a voting system was put in place so the best idea could be picked based on just three simple criteria:
- Is it exciting?
- Will our customers like it?
- Can we build it in two days?
Ahead of the hack, we cleared our diaries for 48 hours, put together a creative space to work (away from our emails) and stocked up on coffee and brain food.
We wanted the two days to flow naturally and let creativity take it’s course so there were just a couple of rules and milestones to hit – as long as we stuck with these we should be on track to complete our chosen product in just 48 hours.
We decided that nobody should work alone so we set a minimum of two people to work together at all time, this allowed everyone to work with people they might not usually on a daily basis and use our strengths to ensure we achieved stuff – quickly.
For our remote workers, we set-up a permanent video link to the office so they really felt like they were in the room with us, this worked really well and everyone working remotely actively contributed and worked with their teams throughout the day.
Finally, we wanted everyone to have fun. It was as much about this as it was the the end result and feedback from the entire team following the hack proved it was a big hit!
By the end of the two days, not only did we have an awesome brand, a working product, and a sales and marketing strategy ready to go, we were surprisingly not sick of each other so we finished it off by heading out for burgers together to chat through how it went.
It was such an awesome exercise to do as a team and super-productive too. We’re keeping our product top secret, for now, but watch this space as we’re super excited to let you know more and it won’t be long until we have an update to announce.