Having worked at a number of digital businesses who have internal ‘hackathons’ I have always seen the great value of getting diverse teams together, constraining them with either key problems to be solved or time & resources constraints …and then amazed by the creativity & execution which is possible under these conditions. At Yahoo! the Yahoo! Weather app, a number of key features within Flickr, Mail & Sport came from the EMEA or Global hackathons, and even in AOL (back in the day) the ability to set diverse teams against a customer problem generated a number of new approaches using technology (in those days there FDO and Rainman!!)
These events allow all employees critically to ‘fail safe’ and also to come at a business or customer need from multiple angles, connect the dots between how to answer the ‘job to be done’ using technology & then execute.
We have instilled this within News Corp Australia through our NewsFoundry initiative (next one end of the month) & all the teams across the business are now using this approach from the startup/digital world to enable innovation.
To understand more the value of these ‘hackathons’ read the following from Pedram Keyani from @Uber but formerly @Facebook, as it articulates the value this organised events can have on the culture, execution focus & employee engagement within a business.