You need a hackathon

I love the concept of hackathons

Mostly because the focus is on shipping.

I have never personally had the pleasure of being involved with a hackathon, but that got me thinking ... why can't I host my own ... for myself?

Here are the ingredients you will need to create your own hackathon:

Make sure you have plenty of time to hack.

Make sure you have plenty of time to hack.

  • Ideas - collected and stored over time, you can pick a particular idea and focus the hackathon entirely on that or perhaps try tackle a few ideas. 
  • Food - don't hold out, this is your fuel. Collect your favourite snackies and get ready to devour them all. When your resources are depleted, your brain seeks sugar. It's science my friend. 
  • Time - pick a day ... or night. Commit to it. Plan it in advance so that you can mentally prepare for it.
  • Place - you need to be in a space where you can really focus. For many hackers, this is their workplace, for others it is a room in their house, for you it may be elsewhere. It needs to be a place where you can spend a significant amount of time without people looking at your awkwardly or trying to get you to leave because you haven't bought anything in six hours. 
  • Tools - Computer, pen, paper, raw materials, lego ... depends on what you're project is.

Although you could go at it alone, you don't have to. Maybe you have been beating around and idea with a friend and you just want to be able to get together and really focus on it. Maybe you and your significant other have been talking about a project to make your home more fun to live in. It's perfectly ok (even encouraged) to have a team to hack with.

The way I see it, there are two very simple goals in a hackathon:

  1. Have fun - or else you won't do it again. You can make sure you have fun by focusing on the idea that gets you the most inspired. 
  2. Ship something - even if it's something far, far less that what you expected, make sure you ship something that you didn't have before. 

You need a hackathon. 

Plan one and make it happen.