07 Sep 2014

Will You 2.0 be M!NE

No, this has nothing to do with the Valentine’s day!  In a recent post, I talked about the personal hackathon session that resulted in the development of ShshDox (read it here).  That inspired our senior team to use that experience to model our first our Weekend Hackathon, under the Mobiuso’s internal program called “You 2.0“, that focuses on intrapreneurship and personal self-improvement.

Little bit about “You 2.0”

This is our ongoing internal university, we fondly call it Mobiuso Labs.  Given our charter to help our clients to execute their ideas and deploy them in the market, we need our team to be aligned heavily with all nuances of such activity.  To that end, we religiously conduct weekly sessions as well as quarterly workshops.  Workshops are conducted like bootcamp, and they are day-long off-site activities.  We also invite inspirational guest speakers to lend a fresh perspective to all our internal talk and education.  This is one of the most popular parts of the workshops.
Clearly our focus on both of these areas revolves around technology, which is our DNA.  So we also scratched our heads and came up with an initiative called M!NE. 

More about M!NE

M!NE (or MINE) stands for My INitiative for Entrepreneurship.  As a part of this initiative, we have also allowed internal teams to spend about 10% of their time on any interesting project they can come up.  The main purpose is to take the idea and pursue it.  Amir Khella is an entrepreneur that I look up to.  He says:
I mentioned a few weeks back that when you get an idea, you should either do it right away, or just forget about it. Acting as soon as you are inspired is the best way to beat procrastination and make ideas happen. Otherwise you’ll  add that idea to your “list”, you’ll get busy, and you’ll probably forget about it, until someone else runs with it.
So M!NE was to really jumpstart the mentality and habit of acting on a worthy idea (even if it means to test if it is “worthy” or not).  We developed a very clear outline of what is anticipated in M!NE.  And…

M!NE or LandMine?  Get rid of that Curse

As was expected (or should have been expected!), there was some difficulty in launching the M!NE activities, we decided to try something different.  We decided to use a condensed session on a weekend (almost 24 hour with the proverbial ‘sleeping bag’ and a fun environment on the side) to get this…

24 Parody copy

We set aside a weekend and broke the 24 hour session into 2×12 hour sessions.  We asked the team candidates to go through some of the popular services (like Dropbox, Twitter, Facebook, Google, Maps, Govt data, Mixpanel, Parse, Twilio, etc) study them and choose to ‘bend’ the examples served up by their team into something that WILL NOT LOOK like an example and would have at least one usable feature (even if it is a micro-feature) in that 24 hour session.
Screenshot 2016-05-12 08.42.51
Finally, here is what we sent out to the team after selecting the projects:
We have settled on the following 3 activities for 3 teams:
1. MOVES – Code name Molocation 
There is a popular Moves App that tracks motion and location information.  They have opened up a developer API and there is an iOS SDK created by someone.  I would like to have the team start with this and develop into a workable app that posts the detailed HTML of the activities that can be posted on a server (and view it online).  Check out Moves-app.com – https://dev.moves-app.com/docs/guide as well as the connected Apps that have been created – More on this later (I have some thoughts on what can be done, but it will be by discovering the other apps’ functionality as well as the supplied hooks in the API.
This will give a good insight into Location, Motion, Server API development (for posting into our own AWS server) using PHP/Rest, HTML display capability etc.  I have researched on iOS (but it could be that we do iOS as well as Android in parallel giving a chance to everyone to work on pieces.
2.  Run or Activity Tracker – Code name Memoirun
This is based on one full tutorial and sample to create app like Runkeeper.  Tracks the runs and plots on the map.  This can be developed into some app that does additional things – http://www.raywenderlich.com/73984/make-app-like-runkeeper-part-1 (there are 2 parts) and the downloadable starting code.  Once again, there could be both platforms as well as web components on these.  Location, API and possibly linking to camera for snapshots.
3.  Google Glass exploration – Code name Movista 
I have a google glass device with me.  We will have the team look up the developer details and the Mirror API specific demos and figure out some demonstrable concept with it.  I will think about it after researching it a bit.  There could be a Google glass controlled App on the Mobile device – will have some Android centric components (along with the Web which is how the system works).
Hope this will be interesting to everyone with lots of learning and a potential to publish some work when appropriate.

The Result

Everyone in the company was present (at that time most of the team was spread between the Goregaon office and Vashi office, so it was still possible to conduct a combined exercise) and the senior team was available to support with the pointers and even help finding some answers to quickly go through the changes and additions needed.
This was much more of a ‘classroom’ style session with an aspiration to achieve a small and tangible goal.  By breaking it down to a manageable chunk, each of the participant had a chance to celebrate a definite win.