Recently I went to my first two hackathons. Just in case some of you don’t know what is this, I’ll explain it:
A hackathon is a contest where teams (or individuals) have to develop some kind of MVP about a given topic in a 24-hour time period (usually). If I had to choose a word to define it, that’d be RUSH.
Even tough the most common profile you can find in a hackathon are people related to computer science, it’s not limited to that and specially depending on the given topic for the contest you can find people coming from completely different backgrounds.
In the ones I went to, after developing your product the team had to do a five-minutes pitch in front of a group of judges. Five minutes. I’ll say it again because it’s easy to overestimate the meaning of this: five.
When you mix techies who enjoy spending time hacking on complicated stuff nobody else understands with a mostly non-technical group of judges, you get to the following conclusion: you’d better explain what you’ve done in a way they can feel it’s providing some kind of value, otherwise your goose is cooked.
In fact you’re warned several times during the contest about this fact, but I think that for me it’s going to be one of those things you end up learning by trial an error.