I am thinking of conducting product sprints. It is a kind of hackathon but with a much tighter focus. Here are some thoughts.
- We will have a few of sponsors who need small products built. They will provide a high level spec and provide funding.
- On the first day, each sponsor will pitch their products
- Developers pick a product and go through discussions to clarify scope.
- The product teams (developers+sponsors) decide on a set of milestones and deliverable for each milestone
- The teams get to work. They go back to their offices/homes and work on the product and start exchanging deliverables.
- The iterations can run from a few days to few weeks.
- Periodically, all the teams meet and review progress
I think there is an opportunity to build a lot of small, useful products. Startup weekends and hackathons are useful to kick start these efforts but product sprints go beyond the initial prototyping phase.
There are several variations of this theme. Here are a few, I can think of:
- A company with a product wants several reference applications. They want others to build them so that they can test their documentation and APIs. They are not big enough to attract a community of ISVs(independent software vendors)
- A company wants to build a set of internal products using cross functional teams. Here both the sponsors and developers are from the same company. Each microproduct is to test some hypothesis on improving a core product.
- A company wants to build an ISV community by providing funding for training and exploration
- Developers want to try to learn new languages, frameworks and build something new. But they don’t have enough ideas for useful applications.
- Developers want to explore emerging technologies like Cloud computing, Mobile Apps, Casual Games etc.
Let me know what you think. If you are a developer or sponsor who is interested in participating, send me an email or DM if you are connected with me on Twitter.