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Hackathon Success

I’ve written in the past about how Hackathons are a key intrapreneurial activity and route to innovation which includes various approaches I’ve adopted. I’ve captured how I’ve used my adventures helping customers adopt some of those approaches to good effect and to disrupt their innovation efforts.

Other than observing and practising with others, I’m a pretty keen participant.

This little overview is about the Hackathons I’ve participated in and won.

The first time I won was at Microsoft when I was there initially (I left for a short while before returning). It wasn’t actually a win in a Hackathon but the Science Fair they often run alongside them.

This was alongside the first global Hackathon run by Microsoft in 2014 which was the brainchild of Satya Nadella who had just become CEO. Take a look at the scale of them now in this great overview of the 2018 event in which I also won (more on that later): This is not your father’s Microsoft.


So back to 2014 when I won at the local Science Fair in the UK which was a part of the global hackathon. Three of us took part and we developed an app for customer success managers (CSM’s). We called it SuccessGo because it was a mobile app for CSM’s on the go.

Built on Dynamics, it focused on allowing CSM’s to capture success events, that is, interactions with or by customers that might have an impact on usage and could be mapped against a usage report, explained here. It also covered success stories that could be shared on Yammer. The purpose was to share learning of what led to successes as well as have a searchable database. Check out a demo of the app at left. This has to a large part been built into current applications.


Last year I participated with two other colleagues and we submitted a separate hack in a local two day Hackathon in the UK and won. That allowed us to go on to participate in the global one week Hackathon in Seattle later in the year – the feature image of this post is from one of the main tents.

There we came second amongst the hacks submitted in our category out of over 23000 hackers worldwide that submitted over 5000 hacks. Although three of us formally worked on and submitted the hack, we had upwards of 15 involved at any time and many more in Microsoft interested and supporting us.

The idea for all this started before I left Microsoft and I took it back up upon returning. I wrote a post on LinkedIn detailing its origins on a piece of work with a customer. We called it Journey and here is a video with a demo of what was submitted and won. Hit the button below to find out more about the concept and how we are trying to take it further.

After hitting the button, please vote in the poll you’ll find there and then share that page 🙏 🙇‍♂️

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