As I got into the building I was greeted with some rather chipper faces and croissants, this made me happy. Along with seeing one of my cyber co-creators in 3D, it was a great start to the day—this was so very true of the Spark+Mettle Ideas Hack Day overall.
More people arrived and very shortly we were huddled around one big table to hear our challenge for the day (I did feel like I was in a human-friendly version of the Apprentice). There were two real life briefs presented by two awesome start-up organisations; one called Provenance and the other Get Out Explorers, and we had to choose just one.
This was a tough call, as I thought both had really good ideas, but I went for the one that I thought would challenge me the most and that was Provenance.
I should start by saying our team was amazing! We had designers and just instantly hacked away at some possible sources of inspiration. Once we were suitably inspired and aware of the tasks that lay ahead, the group split into two. One group went out onto the street to ask people what key factors are important to them when purchasing a product. Meanwhile, the other group started looking at the Provenance website and how we could create something that evolved what they already had. We then just started talking and drawing and penning our ideas down, to share with the other half of our group.
Once we had worked our way through initial suggestions we asked Matt and Amisha (some of the brains behind Provenance) if they could offer feedback and critique so we could refine our ideas and come up suggest things that they could apply and use. This proved to be super useful, as it really helped to reign in our focus for the afternoon.
After a short pause for pizza, we were back scribbling, creating and making prototype designs for our presentation. After rearranging our big pieces of paper on the wall we were ready! It’s safe to say that I think people were genuinely blown away by what we had come up. One of the first responses we had was ‘f****** hell’, as what we presented went beyond their expectations for the day.
We were all so engrossed in what we were doing and the day went really quickly. Something that really surprised me about working on the Ideas Hack Day, was how easy it was to work with everyone and how suggestions were getting incorporated, developed and taken on by different people. There didn’t seem to be anyone taking charge because there wasn’t a need for it.
I took away lots of things from the day, but the biggest thing perhaps was the importance of prototyping (DOING) and writing down an idea and showing it in a visual way. This is really important in my understanding but a great way of allowing other people to add to your ideas.
I really enjoyed the Ideas Hack Day and left feeling inspired and buzzy!
So, when’s the next one?