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Diary Of A Hackathon: Hackomotive Day 1

The Edmunds.com-sponsored Hackomotive 2013 got off to a roaring start, with well over 100 people showing up bright and early, far before doors opened. Wait-listed hopefuls were all accommodated, since a few folks who had registered failed to appear.

After a few opening remarks and an engaging keynote address, participants rotated through four problem spaces over the next 40 minutes, taking 10-minute turns through Research, Shopping, Retail, and Ownership. Edmunds facilitators teased out the issues, challenges, opportunities, and pain points in each area, seeding each problem space with teasers like: What are the issues around timely, relevant and meaningful information that people can trust as they shop for a car? What are the issues aroundhelp people decide and locate the car they’ll be happy with? What are the challenges in creating an automotive retail experience people love? What are the problems in keeping car owners engaged, informed, and happy about their purchase?


It was a target-rich environment!


As participants were given details on what to expect next, we took each problem space and clustered similar issues to reveal dominant themes.


From these themes, over 20 specific problem statements were developed, and put on separate sheets of paper. These served as signup sheets, and participants were given 20 minutes to find a single problem they wanted to tackle.


Participants had a lot of passion for solving a few key problems!





Once signups were complete, teams formed, 20 in total. By noon, the teams were off and running to start hacking.





Teams worked throughout the day and evening. Round one of judges feedback happened late in the day. Our seven distinguished judges gave excellent early feedback, helping enormously to refocus and redirect preliminary concepts. Happy hour was, er, happy, dinner was served, and teams were still fully engaged at 10 pm, when we had to kick people out!



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