6:45 p.m.: And that brings to an end 99X Technology’s first-ever Mobile Hackathon! It’s been a long but incredibly rewarding day, with all the teams putting in a tremendous effort in challenging themselves to come up with innovative market winning products. Hats off to our Mobile Enablement Team for all the hard work in organising such a successful event

Mobile Hackathon Winners: Manisha, Ashan and Janindu!

First Runners-up: Sachintana and Charith 

Second Runners-Up: Kasun and Malik

6:00 p.m.: The pitches come to an end and we leave the judges to deliberate

5:20 p.m.: And we’re back to the final pitches by the competing teams

5:14 p.m.: Kosala wraps up with some learnings that he has picked up through his experience:
– Design is not just about what it looks like, design is about how it works
– Stop worrying about crappiness and ship something that jumps curves!
– Do it in a cheaper, smarter and faster way
– Solving 80% of the original problem with 20% of the effort in a major win
– Even 1% from a billion dollar market is still a lot of zeros

5:10 p.m.: So what we thought was let’s fake the entire app to see what it looks like. Powerpoint played a big role here. This is where the Keynotopia video comes into play and it was vital in getting the customers on board. So this is how we pitched it – through a powerpoint.

5:04 p.m.: Another MVP style tried out was called Wizard of Oz. It’s when you put up a screen that looks like a real working product but you manually carry out the product functions

5:00 p.m.: Keynotopia – testing usability with interactive wireframing. It allows you to get the real feeling with zero coding merely through power point

4:47 p.m.: Kosala shares some MVPs that he has tried out. Can you use paper prototyping? It won’t give you exact feedback but you can get some feedback from the users on how to improve the user experience

4:45 p.m.: Following a refreshment break after the first round of pitches, Kosala heads into a presentation on Minimum Viable Products (MVPs)

4:00 p.m.: The final round of pitches by the participating teams kick off

2:15 p.m.: With that, Mano concludes his talk. The teams now have exactly an hour to prepare their final, comprehensive pitch

2:12 p.m.: Another question – do you need to have a prototype at the pitch? Prototyping is very important – it helps a lot, notes Mano. It’s important to help your investor visualise. It’s great if you can have a prototype but it’s not mandatory. The investor must see value in your product and must see passion in you, the person making the pitch. Because if you’re passionate, you won’t let your product fail.

2:10 p.m.: Mano is posed a question – do you need to use tech jargon in a pitch? He says yes, you need to use jargon in your pitch but how much of it depends on your investor. You need to profile your investor – is he a CTO, product owner…? This is why understanding who your investor is can be vital to the pitch.

2:05 p.m.: Trust, credibility and competency of the team is vital – the investor needs to feel this from you and so you have to stress on this. Keep it simple and ensure you have some way to come back to the investor. The investor needs to feel confident about you.

2:03 p.m.: To back up your idea, you need to have your statistics and research. How do you monetise? Have some idea about this. Then you need to stress on why and how you (and your idea) are different. Look at a niche because it’s your addressable market. When Zuckerburg made his pitch initially, he said it was for university students. Afterwards, you can broadbase.

2:00 p.m.: You need to understand your investor and know their motivation to invest in your product. You can’t tell your whole story in your pitch – make them understand what the problem is and what you are solving. Get that out fast. Then explain what your value proposition is.

1:55 p.m.: The pitches are kept short and sweet, and up next, we have Mano to give a quick presentation on ‘How to do an Elevator Pitch and present to potential investors’

1:20 p.m.: We’re back from lunch and kick off the second round of pitching by the team – it’s all about keeping it brief and relevant in these 3-minute pitches

12:45 p.m.: After some seriously intense brainstorming by all the teams, we take a quick break for lunch

11:48 a.m.: The teams get cracking on their journey maps, figuring out how the user will flow through their application.

11:41 a.m.: Rasika concludes his presentation and hands out Lean Thinking Canvases to all the competing teams in the hackathon to help them on their journey to create market winning products. If you can fill at least half of this, you’re there, Rasika advises the teams.

11:39 a.m.: Doing all this – the Lean Thinking Canvas, User Journey Map, Prioritising – will not guarantee a market winning product but it will help you think in the correct way and understand the problem-solution fit and the product-market fit.

11:37 a.m.: Your third priority should be the ‘Satisfiers’. Go through your backlog and try and label things in this way.

11:35 a.m.: When you’re sure there are no breaks in your user journey map, Prioritise! First priority are the ‘Basic Expectations’ which are mandatory – you need to have them but they won’t excite the user. Then you get ‘Delighters’. They are not mandatory but they give the user that Wow! factor. That’s the second thing you should prioritise.

11:32 a.m.: Take a piece of paper and come up with the flow to connect the story. With any given software there should be at least one flow – there usually are many flows. Keep in mind there is no right or wrong way to create a journey map. When you see the flow, you should be 100% sure the user will follow that flow. Identify the failure points in your system

11:30 a.m.: Use a Lean Thinking Canvas, Rasika recommends. You won’t be able to fill all of it out immediately but it’s a good start. Describe your user. Utilise a ‘User Journey Map’. There is a journey that the user will go through with any product. 

11:20 a.m.: UX Architect Rasika Mahindasiri gets things back on track with a presentation on ‘Lean Thinking’. What is a market winning product, he asks. To make a winning product, the solution should solve the problem and the solution should suit the market.

10:30 a.m.: The teams end their initial pitches and head straight into a long awaited refreshment break. We’ve also got some cool laptop bling for all the participants as no event would be complete without it!

10:20 a.m.: Jehan reminds the teams to keep their pitches within three minutes due to time constraints. Focus on your problem or opportunity and your solution to it, adds Prasath. Prasadi steps up with their solution which focuses on streamlining supply chain management.

10:10 a.m.: Ashan does a quick pitch on their idea and is followed by Malik, who reveals some interesting statistics – research shows that 40% of the tasks done by higher executives in organisations are those that can be delegated but aren’t.

10:00 a.m.: Customer Acquisition Specialist Prasath Mahalingam followed this up with a talk on creating a sellable business case and maximising the value proposition. The teams then got cracking on creating a high level business case for their product and have now begun pitching their ideas in the evaluation round.

8:00 a.m.: 99X Technology’s first-ever Mobile Hackathon kicked off bright and early this morning (14 August) with seven project teams battling it out to craft the best market winning product. The morning commenced with 99XT Technology Manager Hasith Yaggahavita giving the teams a brief introduction on what really goes into creating a market winning product.