In an incredibly insightful article, ex Director of Engineering at Facebook, Pedram Keyani unpacks some of the magic of the +/- 40 ‘hackathons’ he ran at Facebook over the past 7 years. If you don’t have time for the full article (6 min read) here are 10 of the tastiest tidbits I clicked away with:
- At the same time, it was through trying to capture, reinforce, and amplify the very magic that made those original hackathons so special that I came to realize that the hackathons themselves were strengthening and protecting our culture as we grew
- Time Pressure feeds innovation – Constraints are a remarkable force multiplier for innovation.
- Hackathons organically encourage culture-building and collaboration within the company without any top-down guidance.
- Organic self organization results in people from across the company meeting new people and building connections that they wouldn’t otherwise make.
- Building trust during the good times will help your company better handle the bad times because people will feel a connection to their coworkers and they will lean on those relationships.
- By normalizing failure, we encourage risk taking.
- Most of the ideas at your hackathon won’t result in a killer new feature or technological breakthrough — and that’s 100% okay, because the point of a hackathon is to support bold experimentation and the fearless embrace of failure and iteration.
- Hackathons turn great ideas into reality by executing on the here and now. Hackathons push past the hypothetical and force ideas to either fail or thrive.
- Not every idea has to — or even should — be focused on big changes. In fact, being too focused on high-impact change all the time can blind you to the obvious ideas right under your nose.
- At Facebook we hacked to connect the world, at Uber we’re hacking to move it.
What is your company hacking for?