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We won at a hackathon that someone else won

Save the Planet. It’s the only one with beer.

I was on my way to the hackathon, without properly thinking, getting through the different steps that I could follow to gain time: getting the typography of BRLO, reproduce their logo, define short-term guidelines for the visual interface, etc. And of course, I was thinking all the time how would be the interaction between all of us.

Already landed on the hackathon, we just got some coffee and start small-talking and smoking before the kick-off. During the presentation Iwas still thinking on different ways to speed up the development process. A one-day-long hackathon is more similar to a sprint race than to a marathon, to be honest.

We got then the first of all the meetings we had during the event to pitch the idea and what was required from each of us. The idea was pretty cool: we should make an app for iPhone where the users could create a customized label for a specific event and get it printed, pasted and delivered together with the beer crates. The users could also, on the web, check their history of orders.

We set the communication channels and the tasks tracking tools. Afterwards we brainstormed the first ideas of the MVP and started to get the hands dirty. At that time i’ve already completed the preparation phase for the design tasks. I reproduced already the logo, got the whole font family and was set to create the short-term guidelines. While everyone was preparing the different projects for backend, frontend and the iOS app I was already playing with the first layouts.

After thinking about our process I just concluded that Iwas there as designer but actually I was designing as a Product Manager, who previously was a designer and developer. We did brainstormed the idea, we defined together the product requirements and divided them in different tasks. We did create a one-day backlog with stand-ups every third hour.

At the next morning we even had time to print some labels and place them on some beers before the presentation. Our gain there was not only about validating an idea with a MVP. We did implement Scrum in less than 1 hour, defined a proper backlog for the MVP and after 20 hours working our idea was already implemented and ready to go live.

Yeah, we didn’t make it to be into the 3 winners. But to be honest I didn’t care too much. This hackathon showed me that having a common mind-set together with a fresh hypothesis that could be brainstormed, sketched and implemented in a fast, but proper, agile framework could incredibly speed up the development processes.

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