Sunday, September 9, 2012

Livebolt: The 2012 Disrupt SF Hackathon winner

There was the 2012 Disrupt SF Hackathon over the weekend.  It had 147 teams participating.  Hackathon is a great platform to launch your startup when all you have is engineering skills and product ideas.  It provides a great potential to get lot of exposures to winners which is a good thing to have.  Getting people to pay attention to your project is not an easy thing to do.

This year's winner was Livebolt.  Livebolt lets user open a door remotely using iPhone app and $60 hardware when a visitor shows up at the door.

It's a neat idea.  I liked the fact that how the team put together the prototype using existing off-the-shelf components and assembled them together using duck tape.  It's a quick prototyping at its finest.

We live in an era when there are many components that can be put together to create a new product.  Rapid prototyping works the same way for hardware as well as software industry.  Most prototyping is about breaking down the functionality and solving the problem by combining existing functional blocks.  If you can get away with combining existing blocks, go ahead.  If you can get open source code to illustrate your idea, go for it.

Having a quick prototype reduces the risk of startup by proving the product can be put together by construction.  But it also has a very useful benefit.  You can go speak to potential customers and start collecting their concrete feedback.  In other words, you can start iterating.

Good luck to the team Livebolt.

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