Throwaway day – The new hackathon

The day before yesterday, for the first time this attempt for us, we have conducted a “throw away meeting”.”
Susumu Fujita
(quote has been Google-translated from the original Japanese blog into English)

[Another translation could be – “The day before yesterday, we held our first “throw away meeting.” This meeting was proposed in a recent “tomorrow” (or forward-looking) meeting“].

Hackathons or innovation days have become common over the last decade, in part due to their success at rapid innovations at NASA, Google, Facebook and many other high-profile organisations.

Hackathons are known for their rapid creation of useable software / products / concepts. I’d like to propose a different type of hackathon – one where we hack away at OSS stuff that isn’t useful, is too complex, is not being used, has proven to be unviable, etc. To avoid terminology confusion, I’ll call it a cull-athon instead.

The exciting part about a cullathon is that it’s not limited to developers / engineers. Analysis and suggestions can come from all parts of the organisation and all levels. Product teams can analyse what’s (not) being used. Process teams can analyse what’s (not) efficient. Sales teams can analyse what’s (not) selling profitably. Design teams can analyse what type of designs are (not) easy to implement. You get the picture.

The cullathon or throwaway day becomes an important day on an organisation’s calendar as it marks a regeneration point from which growth can appear. It is the equivalent of judiciously pruning a plant to allow fresh new growth to bloom.

Note: Thanks to Paul for bringing Susumu Fujita’s concept of “throw away meeting” to my attention and for the second translation above.

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