Meb (Mark) is a core contributor and protocol engineer at Synthetix. And whereas he’s identified within the Synthetix neighborhood for being a gigabrain protocol engineer, what maybe isn’t so well-known is his spectacular hackathon monitor report.
As a result of, relating to hackathons, Meb slays. He has received greater than ten crypto and non-crypto hackathons and has 5 ETH world hackathons within the bag, together with ETH Denver, ETH Berlin, and ETH SanFrancisco. So what’s his profitable method? Meb shares his must-dos and must-don’ts as we enter the 2023 convention season.
Not monetary recommendation.
Once you consider crypto Hackathons, it’s possible you’ll consider drained groups hunched round laptops, surrounded by half eaten takeaways in crammed venues or resort rooms. They could appear somewhat chaotic, and they are often, however they’re additionally an unbelievable alternative. A few of crypto’s most vital protocols had been born out of Hackathons – take 1inch and Aave. So you should take them significantly and are available ready. Some ideas:
Begin pondering of concepts forward of the occasion and have them written down, able to casually pitch to others earlier than kick-off to get their buy-in. A crew already unified by a shared imaginative and prescient is a superb place to start out.
Know what tech stack you will use. You wish to play the place you’re most snug, so select one thing acquainted to you and your crew.
Get the fundamentals proper – be nicely rested, drink a lot of water, eat wholesome snacks. You have to be excited by the concept of 24-48hrs of hacking, however equally ready for the toll in your thoughts and physique. Optimize with a well-fuelled crew.
Learn the room.
Each actually and figuratively talking – there are apparent individuals within the room that you simply wish to have a great understanding of, however equally having a robust understanding of the business local weather earlier than you stroll into the room is non-negotiable. Some ideas:
Know what the present state of affairs is within the ecosystem. What issues are individuals speaking about on Discord and Twitter on the common, and have to be solved for? In the end, Hackathons are about fixing arduous issues. It’s best to have already got a razor sharp sense of what these issues are. In a way, you go into the Hackathon with the ideation section very practically full.
Know who the sponsors and judges are, and what their pursuits/backgrounds are. Are they buyers, engineers, or in BD? Attempt to tailor your thought and presentation based mostly on the make-up of your judging panel. In the end you’re there to moist the palette of this small group of individuals.
Leverage the instruments and APIs supplied by the sponsors. It appears apparent, however individuals don’t do it. They’re there to help you and lead you in the best path. Use them, after which clarify to the judges (one among whom is often a sponsor and has supplied these instruments) how you have got used them.
Get your crew state of affairs sussed early.
Group chemistry and composition is among the most vital elements to each your success, and your total expertise of the hackathon, so that you wish to get this half proper.
Determine quick in case you are working solo or with a crew, and don’t waste time on this. There’s execs and cons to each however, imo, the advantages of working in a crew outweigh the trade-offs. You’ve variety of thought, extra fingers to do the work, and it typically finally ends up being a extremely enjoyable social expertise.
In case you do select to work in a crew, attempt collaborating with new individuals. Whereas working with the individuals in your on a regular basis crew/dao is at all times going to be nice, you already know their views and wheelhouses. Reaching out to new individuals provides you with a richer expertise with extra alternative to study (and community).
Make sure to diversify your crew abilities, so that you’re working like a mini-dao. Ideally you’ll have one dev, one designer and one marketer for a well-rounded idea and output. Chuck a BD individual within the combine and also you’re buzzing. Realizing every member’ strengths and weaknesses beforehand offers you a bonus in each preparation and execution. Be sincere with yours to set the tone – should you’re a dev with little or no advertising or presentation abilities – let that be identified shortly and ask the remainder of your crew to be as clear. Being a straight shooter in these conditions is advantageous, so you will get on with assigning roles and obligations quick and successfully.
Maintain open to all concepts and collaborate arduous. Each crew member will deliver one thing particular to the desk.
One of the best a part of these occasions are the chums you made alongside the best way. 🙂
Right here’s my quickfire spherical of don’ts. I’ve experimented with a couple of of those so that you simply don’t must. None of those are deal breakers, however they’ll undoubtedly decelerate/add stress to your hackathon expertise.
Don’t chew off greater than you’ll be able to chew.
Scope the undertaking accordingly, should you can’t simply see how one can construct a proof-of-concept, then it’s too massive. There’s nothing worse than stressing the best way by the final stretch in full information you’re not going to finish the undertaking.
Don’t neglect the UI/UX.
Don’t be a perfectionist.
Don’t waste an excessive amount of time on polish, simply make it presentable. This rings true with the presentation too – don’t overdo it, make it concise, humorous, and convincing. They aren’t judging you on aesthetics or your capability to current (though a assured/persuasive crew member to current actually doesn’t damage).
Don’t waste time developing with the app title – it’s a time waster and it’s tough to get consensus. Merely begin out with a codename, and sudden inspiration will floor as you’re by your undertaking. Who is aware of – you would possibly even fall in love with the codename as an alternative.
Don’t keep up all night time.
Don’t do it to your self. Provided that you really want to complete one thing final minute and also you’re nearing the deadline. However you shouldn’t have this drawback should you tempo your self and scope the undertaking accordingly. Save the all-nighters for the post-grind celebrations.
And that’s all I obtained.
See y’all on the ground at ETH Denver 2023 – and good luck to the builders!