Hackathon 2016: What’s your Spirit Animal?

6 minute read

Today the majority of the team are focussing on training Wit.ai, the brains of our 'improved eBay'. It is currently being filled to the brim with buying and selling intentions, and so far so good.

But despite creating a platform to better the experience of eBay, we have to be realistic - we only have a week to do this. The main issue with this is there isn't a snowballs chance in hell that we can train Wit.ai to deal with all types of products and things in such a short space of time - even if we did power through every iota of available time, typing until our fingers bled. So we've chosen to focus on just the one: Vinyl. The clear winner, after even taking down the close contenders of magic cards and vintage console games. It's popular, it's interesting and there's a big market for it. It's a bonafide box ticker as our starting point.

HAWK logos

Additionally, in the same way that we can't possibly train our platform a limitless array of items in such a short space of time, we can't keep calling it 'a better eBay' either. The branding brainstorming has begun.

Although it's tempting, now we've decided to focus on Vinyl for the time being, it's difficult not to get set on branding the platform to that market alone. We want this to be something we can continue to expand upon, regularly being able to add new product categories and it still fit with the style and feel of the platform.

We'd been chucking vague and questionable ideas around for the past few days, such as Jeeves.ly (an homage to Ask Jeeves?) and Boff (Laura really liked boff / boffin until we found out that 'to boff' was particularly rude), but it took Matt and Simon spending a good few hours getting down to business to pin down some viable options.

Currently the main players in the game are
- In the Market - if you're 'in the market for something', the idea of lots of different sellers selling lots of different things within one market place. You go to the market for a specific thing.
- Hawk - as in to 'hawk' something
- Plaza - similar theme to 'in the market', a collection of items and sellers

As well as potential logo designs for the above mentioned, Matt's also been busy mocking up front end wireframes as an overlay on / reskin of telegram, something James will be taking over as the week progresses and we have our brand pinned down.

White Album, The Beatles

As per, we had a Lunchtime catch up on what everyone was up to, this however unintentionally turned into 'What's your spirit animal?' The results are as follows:

Simon - a snake (doesn't eat for quite some time then consumes a large amount of food in one go and has to laze around for the remainder of the day) or an iguana (I have no real reasoning for this.)

Luke - a Red Setter (lovely nature but hella daft)

Matt - a Crane (we don't really know. Simon feels it's because of his poise and demeanor.)

Laura - a Pug (clumsy and funny to laugh at.)

Lucian - a hyena (this is mainly due to his laugh.)

Chris - an owl (the ability to see all and pounce.)

Jack - a nest building Crane (because he's a nest bird and likes to watch everyone, silently judging.)

James - a bear (a nice balance of sensitive and intelligent, but powerful - or it might just be the beard.)

Lawrence - a black panther (the jury's still out.) 

Hackathon developers and designers

So what have we learnt today?
- We can make the most of reskinning Telegram
- Vinyl is the way to go
- Boff and Jeeves.ly are not making the final cut on names
- We'd make a very odd spiritual zoo

Simon working with laptop on balcony