It all started with an awesome idea, 3 foxy ladies, 2 happening dudes, and not a whole lotta time.
At Dressed to Code: Glamour’s Fashion Hackathon, Silho, the Perfect Fit Finder came to life last Saturday within a magical 6 hour period. We pitched an idea, a strong team assembled, and we hacked till the day’s end. Each team member had a drastically different skill from the next and their own function. We were a powerhouse of design and engineering, without any loose bolts.
Finding yourself, especially your whole team, in this surreal, high-functioning mode is no simple task. In a conference room at GA, we wrote our thoughts out on whiteboard walls and took to our ideas like a sugar mill. We ground them all down to the most vital, delicious, and necessary elements, and we assigned them according to priority in communicating the brand message and functionality of the app. All team members were heard and contributed to the best of their ability and with clarity of mind. Throughout the process, we surprised ourselves. We were having the most fun out of all the groups. We had to worry about keeping our laughter down and not encroach on other teams’ concentrated silence. We had the right goals in mind and the structure to get them done.
We finished developing the app and presentation just in time and readied ourselves for the 2 minute chance we had to promote Silho to a panel of judges. The presentation was rocky, as we’ve had only 6 hours to really conceive, plan, and develop our product. We were still in the inspiration-vibration stage, our brains overridden by the multitude of opportunities that could emerge from our one simple idea. 2 minutes passed, and we surrendered to fate. All that could be done had been done. Se, we watched, drank free wine, and waited to see if our fun could turn into profits.
We learned some vital lessons that we will carry on to the next Hackathon.
1. Come in with a solid idea. Morph quickly in the face of opportunity, but have a strong idea to back you.
2. Communicate often with your team. Make a process and timeline for check-ins.
3. Present like you owe no one favors. Talk about your product like it already exists with the confidence that if this group doesn’t take it, another competitor will.
4. Always double check the length of the presentation. You want to have no surprises when you present. So, ask about the process the organizers had planned for presentation. This will ready you, and if they haven’t been up to this point, your hosts for conducting presentations.
5. Have fun! Hackathons are the best practice to challenge yourself to become a faster, more efficient worker, introduces you to new ideas and practices, but most importantly, allows you to meet the coolest new people. Get to know them, everyone, and follow up with them after to grow your network of truly great, creative, knowledgeable people.
The Hackathon was an extremely didactic experience and a pretty slammin day of productive fun. We’ll be back on the hackathon scene in no time.
A special Thank You to our team, Amelie Lamont, Kent Yeung, and Vinil Bhandari for being totally awesome rock star creators, thinkers, and designers. We hope we can all Hack together again.
Please check out Silho, the Perfect Fit Finder at http://silho-app.squarespace.com/. Get sized up so you always know what to wear, in what style, in what size, by which brand. Happy Shopping!