When faced with the reality that their podcasting company was sinking, CEO Evan Williams sent his team on a two week hackathon. Every person in the company paired themselves with another to work on projects that could bring the company life. No rules, no boundaries, just two weeks to develop a plan to save the company.
Within two weeks, Jack Dorsey presented a plan that eventually became one of the most visited websites of all time with over 200 million users.
The origin of Twitter offers many principles and insights that we can apply to our own lives. Yet the attitude behind the hackathon might be one of the most important. Entrepreneurs often face do or die situations and the majority of times, start-ups fail. Evan Williams was no exception with his company Odeo. By limiting hackathons to small teams on a tight timeframe not only saved the company, but eventually turned out to a $2.56 billion profit for the CEO.
Your business, your start-up, your ministry or life is going to reach a point where you need to initiate a hackathon. When you hit a roadblock, plateau or a dead end, you can decide to find a creative solution. That solution might be your best work yet.