A swift execution from idea to market has become a key competitive advantage for software companies to enable them to survive and grow in turbulent business environments. Companies have begun to use hackathons to combat this challenge. A hackathon is a highly engaging, continuous event where people in small groups produce working software prototypes in a limited amount of time. This article examines hackathons in light of the experiences of a software product company called F-Secure. Hackathons were found to be a beneficial engineering solution to the fundamental business problem of how to make revenue from an idea, solving the phases spanning “from an idea to a software prototype.” However, the main challenge of hackathons concerns how to transform those promising prototypes into finalized products that create revenue and real business value.
Komssi, M; Pichlis, D; Raatikainen, M; Kindström, K; Järvinen, J (F-Secure): What are hackathons for?