It’s a tiny story of an aspiring team from Crayon’d, “the protagonists” that hacked to glory at the “Hack for Social Good” by SPI Cinemas.
Crayon’d, being a product studio has been building products from its existence. We have let go so many events all around us but not ‘Hack for Social Good’. There was something about this event that immediately kindled our curiosity, quite possibly because of it’s theme on UN sustainable goals. After all, we had great aspirations as a team to make social impact through technology. We knew we were going with very little idea of what we were going to hack. The registration had to be done with a brief of the idea as only the shortlisted teams will enter the hackathon.
The mind started churning ideas on various social causes revolving around the sustainable goals. A tiny little spark spun the entire thought process into a green future. The idea of what if people grew their own mini-forests in and around home or office. What if afforestation could be made a habit? What if technology can be put to use for social impact? We submitted the idea with the hope that it deserves to be in the final list. The hope turned into an opportunity to do something special with a call from the organising team that we were one among the finalists with very little knowledge of what was going to unfold in the next few days.
The much anticipated day arrived (December 17, 2016) and a sense of enthusiasm was evident in the team. We walked in and were treated to some wonderful hospitality from the hackathon team. All of us took our seats in the bay and it was a blessing that we had a space that sent us into a hiding. We grouped together and made a promise to ourselves, “It doesn’t matter whether we won at the end of 36 hours, but we should have delivered an experience that will make an everlasting impression among the audience”.
We gathered our thoughts as a team and started hacking our idea. We had a pretty large bucket list to build within the short time frame and we knew we had made the right choice to build it on Hasura. After all, it gives you the power to hit the ground running pretty fast. Also, for a team that’s good in ideation and UX covered it was the best thing to know we did not have to sweat on back-end engineering. The teams were asked to pitch their ideas to the jury during the course of the first day and they collectively believed we were over ambitious. They had a suggestion to stem down and focus on one part of the idea and make it work.
The team was back to hacking. I said, “Guys, what’s your take? Should we stem down?”. The collective answer was “No, let’s go for the glory”. There was nothing else I had to say. We kept hacking with each one building their piece of the puzzle. We knew Hasura would make our life easy on whatever stretch we were doing to our idea. The secret sauce to our hack is that we found ways to enjoy the experience as a team and did not leave our tradition even there :).
The end was in sight and team was hustling. It would surprise many if we admit that we did not test the complete product together before doing our final demonstration. The hack came to a close and all of us packed up to the vibrant hall where everyone was ready to see the end of an exciting 40+ hours. The final demonstrations were on, we were exhausted but committed for the final push to present what we did. The protagonists were called to present and happened to be the last but final team. Here is a glimpse of what we showcased.
We jumped right in. The demo was an experience never to forget. Everyone in the room got excited the moment they saw a flawless demo. We could feel the appreciation from the jury and the anticipation from the audience egged us on. For us, it was overwhelming. Why not? After all, we hacked an idea and brought it to life and making people immerse in it. We said, that’s all we got and the whole room erupted in applause. We said to ourselves, “The objective is met. We have delivered an experience”. Thanks to Hasura for making it possible to build a product that did not break.
Everyone was now hooked on to the finale. I believe we were now too tired to be excited. The first award was announced and it was for “Best Design”. It wasn’t a call for us :). The second award was announced for “Best Idea” and guess what “It was the Protagonists”. We felt recognised a great sense of accomplishment for the team. Apparently, it wasn’t over. We returned to our seats and the call was for the “Best Team – The Protagonists”. We just sank in joy.
The hack has now transpired into “Be the Tree Hugger” movement encouraging people to come together and build green communities. We have got a overwhelming response till now with quite a bit of buzz from media partners.