Today is “Hack Day” at Rival IQ! Periodically we clear our calendars to focus on a day of innovation.
There is only one rule: do anything that you think may be valuable, and that excites you!
The goal of the day is to create a prototype, as opposed to a fully finished piece of work. This is why we call it “Hack Day.” It’s quite freeing when building something to suspend concern about the user interface (UI) polish, corner cases, performance, tests, and other such matters, to instead focus on the kernel of an idea. Once the day is over, each team does a 3-minute demo of their idea for the whole company.
Hack Day Features We Enjoy Today
In the past, some the projects have been so compelling that we decided to invest in taking them to completion and making them a part of Rival IQ. Examples include adding Buffer/Hootsuite integrations into the product, creating an internal real-time revenue tracking dashboard, and adding a capability to our blog to allow easy social sharing.
Other projects have inspired new product directions. One derailing (in a good way) idea was the functionality that allowed you to group social posts by different characteristics such as post type or time of day. Another detected and alerted marketers of anomalous changes over time in certain metrics and another that allowed you to set goals (say, grow my Twitter following by X%) and track it over time.
Everyone Is Encouraged To Participate
The entire company is invited to participate, across all disciplines, not just engineering. As the day approaches, we brainstorm ideas. This time around, in addition to ad-hoc conversations, we created a slack channel for germinating ideas. People choose projects, working in teams or individually, as they like. On the day itself, there is an air of excitement. There are lots of heads down work, with a good sprinkling of animated conversation as well. We bring in lunch, and it’s always fun to hear how everyone’s projects are coming along mid-day. It is typically an intense day but really fun too!
When we do the demos a few days later, I always find myself impressed what this talented, creative team can accomplish in a day. (Well, to be fair, sometimes there is some evening follow-on work by those that just can’t help themselves.
Investing time and creating space to explore is worthwhile both because it leads to great ideas and it’s great fun. We try to be culture-centric at Rival IQ, and fun and innovation are two things we value highly.
I’m excited to see what we create!
Do you have an idea for a feature that you’d love to see in Rival IQ? Submit your ideas below and we’ll throw them in the internal Slack channel for our next hack day!