The Hackagong Guide to Building Your Team


There are few things more exhilarating than turning your own ideas into manifested realities. Making something new that has never existed before, and as a bonus, finding a group of people somewhere in the world who absolutely love your creation is what Hackagong is all about. But how do we go about achieving this kind of glorious success? What kind of team do we need to assemble at Hackagong to make all this happen?

Here’s what a few people involved in last years Hackagong had to say about building a strong team:

“In my opinion the perfect Hackagong team would be three or four people: a business/marketer/speaker/people person, a designer/UI/UX/graphics person, and one or two programmer/engineer/architect people. It’s good to have people who’s strengths are in those specific areas, but the more team members have overlapping skills, the more adaptive and cohesive they will be.”

Nathan Waters

“It’s important for people to realise that 2 front end programmers / 2 back end developers is not a perfectly balanced team (like I naively thought it was) – I’d say every team should really look for a creative person (e.g. graphic designer) if possible. That’s what made the winning teams last year stand out.”

Tim Christie

“Put together a team with a range of skills that can be put into many different types of projects. Designers & Entrepreneurs I would say are the most valuable, as they can work on almost any project.”

Brennan Hatton

“A balanced team, in my view, needs 2 people: 1 dev and 1 business. Designers and other skills can be bought in later. Having a designer can really help. As Tim said, they can help to make what you have made look good!!”

Rebecca Paget

What other hints can we take from last year to help us figure out what makes a solid Hackagong team? Hackagong 2012 winners Giftling was a team of four, consisting of one graphic designer, one software developer, one business development person and one person that could do a little of everything.

It seems good Hackagong team is all about striking a well-rounded balance of people who have different knowledge and skill sets. Teams need to be able to build stuff, from graphics to code to models to marketing plans, well and fast. This means you need people who are really good at a particular thing, but are knowledgeable enough in other things to be able to work cohesively with others and function as a team.

The judges will be looking for a combination of lots of things, so you’ve got to have a team that can cover them – your creation has to work, it needs to be comfortable to look at and use, be underpinned by an awesome innovative idea, and have potential for future development as a product that will resonate with a wide audience (well outside the hacker community). Lots of things to worry about, so you’ve got to have a well-rounded team of hands on deck to be able to cover them all properly.

How is your Hackagong team looking? Do you have that balance?

If you don’t have it and need help finding people to balance out your team, checkout the HACKAGONGers facebook group where competitors are posting their skills or get in contact with our Hackagong ambassadors to help match you up with somebody from their field:

Travis Wall – Design[email protected]

Tim Christie – Code[email protected]

Chris Richards – Build[email protected]

Rebecca Paget – Launch[email protected]

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