‘Time is money,’ as the cliche goes in the startup industry.
Quarterly projects, back-to-back meetings, and weekly deadlines sometimes leave teams with little or no time to explore that game-changing idea or project that has been nagging them.
This year, we resolved to make a positive change and set aside some time to let our imaginations run wild with potential project ideas.
Jugaad-it is Signeasy’s internal hackathon.
Jugaad is a Hindi term that refers to the act of devising a novel solution to a problem. A hack, in today’s terms.
The aim was to hold a 12-hour hackathon during which we would drop everything and create something amazing. While most company hackathons focus to coders, we wanted Jugaad-it to include team members from all departments, including marketing, design, and employee satisfaction, as well as sales and engineering.
The pizza and Red Bull-fueled tournament came to a close with a thrilling demo and presentation, after which members voted for a winner. In addition to bragging rights and gift cards, the winning team was able to anticipate the launch of their project.
Jugaad-objectives it’s were to:
(1) Scratch those itches: Allow folks to abandon everything and return to the drawing board, trying even the most basic of ideas.
(2) Put yourself in someone else’s shoes: Allow people to interact with and learn about the issues that other teams confront.
(3) Increase creativity: We hire only the most creative people at Signeasy, and we’d be stupid not to let them use their brainpower.
Getting the ball rolling
We kept the ‘Jugaad-it’ concept very open-ended to keep things easy. Teams were free to dig in and construct whatever piqued their interest, as long as the project could be linked to Signeasy.
On a Thursday morning, we introduced the idea to our Bangalore team, who were ecstatic to get started. Over a cup of coffee, we observed people gathering their crews with contagious energy, pitching their ideas and persuading others to join their endeavour.
The teams were then announced at the end of the day during a ‘pitch-off’ session. On Friday, we held Jugaad-it 1.0.
What did we learn from our first Jugaad-it?
We saw teams present their projects at 12 hours down, exhibiting hacks relating to sales efficiency, customer satisfaction, faster ways to sign, employee productivity, and more. Here is a quick rundown of the projects:
(1) Brahmastra Team:
For Gmail power users, they created an efficiency-based feature. The functionality used continuous email scanning to identify emails that required signatures. It then auto-imported those papers into Signeasy and notified the user via push notification.
(2) Soothsayer’s Team:
Based on previous Signeasy user data, they used machine learning techniques to forecast how likely a user was to become a Signeasy customer.
(3) Covert Team Operations:
They created a flurry of Android micro-apps to drive client acquisition after focusing on growth hacking. Among them were:
I Just Sign provided users with a canvas on which they could draw signatures and export them to other apps.
(ii) Protect PDF allowed users to upload a PDF document and password-protect it.
(iii) Easy Fill allowed users to quickly and easily fill out common public document templates such as W-9 forms and house rental agreements.
(4) G-Ratify Team:
They created a retention tool that allows customers to score their Signeasy dashboard experience.
(5) LivEasy Team:
They created a centralised interface that allowed Signeasy employees to manage their leave days, order food, get reimbursements, and more.
(6) Sweet Lime Soda Team:
They worked on several concepts, including:
I Using Clearbit to learn about website users’ profiles (business name, amount of employees, etc.).
(ii) A new and innovative Signeasy branding strategy
Taking a look back at Jugaad-it 1.0
The following are some key takeaways from our first ever company-wide Jugaad-it:
(1) Work within time limits. Instead of a larger-than-life project that you won’t be able to see through to completion, choose an excellent idea that can be accomplished in under 12 hours.
(2) While our teams were able to accomplish a lot in 12 hours, they learned that they could have accomplished a lot more with more detailed planning ahead of time. This would have allowed them to be more productive with their time.
The way forward
Because Jugaad-it 1.0 was such a hit, we decided to conduct one every month to keep the fires of fun-fueled learning and creativity burning. We’re looking forward to seeing the slick new features and everyday hacks that will debut in Jugaad-it 1.1 on Friday.
Sounds enjoyable? Do you want to come to the next one with us? Visit our careers website for more information. We’re always on the lookout for talented individuals!