Why do companies run hackathons?


Hackathon. Hack Day. Hack fest. Code fest.

Whatever you call it, many organisations hold internal Hackathons. But why – what is the value for a business in doing so?

It seems a simple question, but I suspect that the answer is far from straightforward.

Is it just for fun? To stimulate creativity? As a vague “cultural improvement” exercise? To come up with new commercial product ideas? To build technical skills? To encourage meeting people from other areas of the business? For a combination of any or all of the above?

I have my own biases and opinions, but I’d like to hear yours. Pop them into the comments and let me know.