How to develop an idea with strangers

In June, we became an official partner of Creaton — the hackathon for creators, where teams develop ideas for social initiatives and young startups. 

It was the fifth anniversary of the event and that’s why the organizers decided to spice things up a little — the event was held on a train! Just for this purpose, BDCenter rented a whole wagon in Minsk-Grodno to have a collaborative adventure with designers, strategists, and other creative people to come up with concepts for social projects. 

We had 24 hours, 4 projects, and 8 teams of 57 people to create something worthy. There was no internet on the train, but it turned out to be a great obstacle. We decided to make our presentations using cuts from magazines, markers, and paper.

Stop on the way to Grodno. Quick pizza lunch in Mosty

We needed to create for the human rights organization Human Constanta, choir chapel, the project of children’s initiative “Theatre for All” and the city magazine Hrodna.life.

Social projects that participate in Creaton are supported by professional creators free of charge, who in turn, give benefit to the world with their competences and develop their skills. We are really happy to support and participate in such events because we believe that Creaton is the ideal environment for talented prospects to grow and evolve. 

Our employees, Julia Hoda, an internal communications specialist, and Dmitry Levkovets, a digital strategist, went on the trip to Grodno and back. The two have decided to share the insides that appeared during the trip in this article.

5 minutes before train departure

Better to negotiate on the beach

Before you rush into action, it’s highly advised to agree on the role of each member on the team. Who will be responsible for the strategy and who will be responsible for communication? Who will make the design and copyright? What helps to reach objectives faster and avoid competitiveness inside the team is when everyone has their own area of responsibility. Synergy and smooth work only!

Julia and Dima chose to work on the same project without discussing it beforehand. Well, the telepathic connection is there!

A well-thought path and a clear objective will help to cut-out the unnecessary

Just like the film script helps the director not to confuse the future audience with the chaotic plot, the same happens with other creative work. Carefully thought out strategic steps won’t let you turn away from the plan to reach your goal. 

After we defined the basic concept of the project and generated millions of ideas, we realized that it’s time to cut all the unnecessary stuff that clearly won’t help us reach the objective, even if it looks very creative and out of the box. Getting rid of everything that is not completely necessary is a great rule even for simplifying life events. By the way, we actually brought some things that we’ve never used during our trip.

We were even sticking our ideas on the top shelf of the parlor. It was quite comfortable!
When there was no more space left, we moved on to windows.

It’s better to create something that’s not perfect, than to create an unnecessary product

Time was pressuring us quite hard during Creaton since we had only 24 hours: there was no time for perfection. It doesn’t make sense to polish the project or to develop a perfect logo for it, when it may occur completely unnecessary after the client’s first feedback. 

After critical feedback, the product always needs improvements: eliminating some functions and creating new ones instead. It may even turn out that the idea is not working and nobody needs it. Therefore, creating MVP will save a lot of effort, time, and money.

Developing strategies on the knee

What’s the best cure for panic? — a sense of humor and a new plan!

If you are struggling with finishing your project in time, it’s better to review your priorities, develop a new plan, and add a bit of humor so you are ready to go.

Laughter cured us from both heat and fatigue

Location change leads to perception change

Everything new from lessons, places, and feelings — the factors for developing new neural connections. The organizers of Creaton clearly were aware of this and that’s why they chose to hold an event on a train instead of an office. Our team can say with certainty, the change of location definitely helped to see usual things from a new perspective.

The parlor train has turned into a crowded co-working station.

Creaton is accepting new promotional campaign requests from social initiatives and early-stage startups! The deadline is September 1st. For more info, visit our Facebook page.