Fresh Egg Hack Day 2014: What We Learned and Why You Should Host Your Own
Last Thursday (27 March 2014) saw the majority of us here at Fresh Egg take part in an internal Hack Day at our Worthing HQ. Teams ranging from two to six people teamed up and squirrelled away to separate corners of the office in order to scheme, plot and plan their winning hack. We’d like to tell you a little about our Hack Day. Perhaps we’ll inspire you to try one of your own?
During the Hack Day presentations
What is a Hack Day?
Hack Days, or ‘Hackathons’, as they are sometimes termed, are events which typically involve computer programmers, designers and developers collaborating on technical projects in order to come up with new software ideas and solutions. Being that our talent pool brims with not only first class web developers and designers but some of the brightest minds in digital marketing, the Fresh Egg Hack Day was a little different.
The loose brief for our Hack Day was to come up with and develop a creative solution to a problem for a company or brand, be they a prospect or existing client. By ‘problem’, we meant anything from a lack of digital presence to a need for improved competitor intelligence or brand affinity. The only requirements were that the hack be creative, commercially viable and achievable within the realms of modern technology.
So they hacked, and they hacked, and they…
Never ones to let the pull of an amusing acronym pass us by, between the lot of us we created:
- One digitally interactive campaign stunt (DICS)
- One clever grocery shopping customer experience app
- One drag and drop responsive email marketing template
- One app to personalise high street shopping (iStreet)
- One mobile friendly, contactless, time-saving gym/cinema combi experience (Gymina)
- One series of digital rescue packages for small charities
- One page pricing and property node information scraper (P3NIS)
Each of the ideas was presented to the wider company as well as a panel of discerning judges, including Fresh Egg’s head of development and advocate for Hack Day’s techy ancestry, Rob Taylor.
The Hack Day panel
“I thoroughly enjoyed the presentations by all of teams involved, and it was great to see what can be accomplished in just a day of work. The range of ideas was really diverse, creative and innovative – picking a winner was a tough call.”
Rob Taylor, head of development
Which idea was crowned the winner of Hack day 2014?
“I was yet again reminded about the huge level of talent and creativity that we have here at Fresh Egg. The ideas were wide-ranging and the passion, detail and enthusiasm that went into the presentations was outstanding.”
David Somerville, head of social media
In the end, it was the team rather catchily entitled ‘Battfurwarbslongcox’ (an amalgamation of the team mates’ surnames), who claimed the Fresh Egg Hack Day winning title. The team came up with the idea of Fresh Help: a series of free ‘digital rescue’ packages to assist small and local charities with their online presence. Packages, including Website Rescue, Social Media Rescue and CRO Rescue, were designed to improve a charity’s online profile and visibility within the community. What attracted the judges to Fresh Help was the idea that Fresh Egg could draw on its wide-ranging expertise and multi-channel experience to really make a difference to organisations that need it the most.
“Many of the ideas were viable, making it hard to choose a winner,”
David Sewell, SEO consultant.
Hack Day idea: responsive drag and drop email template
Why put on a Hack Day?
So, that’s what went down at our Hack Day, but what does it mean for you? Here are four great reasons to run a Hack Day where you work:
- Innovation - Events like this are breeding ground for fresh new ideas. “It amazes me how one day can produce so many great ideas, some of which were so developed they were almost ready to go out of the door!” says Adam Stafford, MD
- Team building - Adam says: “Hack Days at Fresh Egg will definitely continue into the future; it’s great to pull together teams of people who might not usually get a chance to work together.”
- Lead generation - New ideas can lead to new business. “The creativity and amount achieved this year was fantastic, with some ideas we could even look to launch commercially as new Fresh Egg products.”
- Employee recognition - We believe Fresh Egg has a wealth of talent worth celebrating and worth learning from. As David Sewell says: “The variety of fully formed ideas, from just one day of thinking in teams, showed the panel how important it is to get everyone involved in the creative process”.
What better reason to run a company Hack Day than that?
If you’d like to find out more about our Hack Day or any of the ideas that came up, why not leave us a comment below or get in touch?