We’re officially halfway through the Lightning Lab GovTech Accelerator, and we couldn’t think of a better way to mark the occasion than throwing a Halfway Hackathon to get our creative juices flowing.
We brought the teams together for a 7-hour sprint with one goal in mind: to create a rough prototype for their project by the end of the day. Developing an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is arguably one of the most important things when working on a new product or service, and being able to do so with the support of experts in the industry is truly invaluable. We were lucky enough to be joined by representatives from Accenture, EndGame, Fjord and of course our own masterminds at Creative HQ.
By day’s end, each team came up with a prototype to tackle the challenges the core of their projects – this will be the starting point they will build on for the next few weeks of the accelerator, before giving their final pitch at Demo Day.
We went around the office and asked the teams to share their top learnings from the Hackathon.
Creating a minimum viable product or solution prototype is no easy task, as some of our teams found out by the end of the Hackathon. It’s important to keep in mind that the solution achieved by the end of the day doesn’t have to be perfect, in fact having a rough prototype can be a definite advantage when testing the concept with your end user. When presented with an early-stage work-in-progress, users are more inclined to provide critical feedback and less afraid of tearing your work apart, which will ultimately be an advantage in the development of a successful product.
“One of the important aspects of prototyping is having the ability to iterate based on the end user’s needs. It was awesome to see that in one day teams could develop a prototype with the help of Accenture and endgame while also making changes based on their end user’s needs” – Jonnie, Lightning Lab GovTech Programme Director
“Premature optimization is the death of many startups, and in accelerators is second only to founder problems” – Dave Moskovitz, Entrepreneur, Professional Director & Startup Investor
“During the accelerator the concept behind our solution pivoted multiple times, each time providing us with a different idea of how the final prototype would look. We would now say it is important to realise that the idea or prototype you begin with is highly unlikely to be the end product so remaining open-minded and accepting change throughout is essential to success” – Michael and Cyma, Ministry of Social Development Team
“During the Hackathon it was very interesting to see the different concepts which teams developed and how these changed over the space of just 5 hours. There is no perfect prototype, by the end of the day teams had come to realize just how true this really is’” – Stephanie Benseman, Lightning Lab GovTech Programme Manager
HOW TO PROTOTYPE
If you are getting ready to create your first solution prototype, start with this checklist:
- Figure out which problem you are solving first, and whom this solution is for.
- The first solution should never be a perfect solution.
- Build it, test it and learn as much as possible from it!
- Constantly make changes based on the end user’s needs.