Thursday, January 9, 2014

How a Contest Judge Had No Idea Who Won the Hackathon!

I keep getting asked how I could be the celebrity judge of a Hackathon, and yet have no idea who the winner was. It's the bad influence of American Idol and Dancing With the Stars, I'm told, by those who watch television.

It turns out that the panel of judges only selected semi-finalists. Six, to be precise. Three in the "Wearables" category and three in the "Mobile" category. Then, these teams presented to the 3000+ attendees of the Developer Summit, which is to say, the AT & T conference that happened right after the Hackathon.

As a mobile phone company, I suppose it makes sense to ask your developer employees to text their choices to a phone number, to make the final selection. It's a stunt. But then so was the Espresso coffee machine in the "mingling room" that would take your order from an SMS message to 855-ZIPWHIP, and brew it without operator intervention! The Espresso was tasty and techy. It doesn't get better than that.

So, because these six teams presented (a 2 minute lightening talk) to the developers, and the final winner wasn't selected before TheHackerCIO drove back to Silicon Beach, he never found out the final winner. He had to read it on the web, like anyone else interested. There's something wrong with that. Just saying'

For those interested, here is a short video about the Hackathon and its two winning teams, who took the cash prize of $25,000.00 :

I Remain,


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