Hacksgiving is an all-night hackathon just before the Thanksgiving break. At Lookout, Hacksgiving is a time for the entire company to come up with new ideas, form teams, and create some great new products!

Hacksgiving at other companies might look slightly different, but this is what it means for us.

Prior to the event

Before Hacksgiving starts, rolling whiteboards are set aside for “pitching” ideas. This generally means:

Leading up to the event, other people will add “+1” (or in some cases “+1000”) to ideas they really like, or want to see built. This is a useful encouragement for the members of the project, letting them know how excited their coworkers are to see the idea built!

Shortly before Hacksgiving, a couple “workshops” will also be held to introduce toolkits to people who want to hack on something outside of their domain of expertise. This means marketing people might learn how to build Android apps, or Ops people might learn how to build things for iOS, etc.

During the event

During Hacksgiving, Lookout will cater a number of meals and snacks to make sure that everybody can focus on building a kick-ass prototype in 24 hours.

Generally what will happen is teams will spread out across the office, mostly congregating where music is playing, and food is readily available. People tend to congregate together to “riff” off one another and get feedback from people outside of their immediate team.

Hacksgiving is a company-wide event, and even one-person teams are encouraged to bounce ideas and demos off their fellow hackers.

Ending the event

At the end of the event, it’ll be time for another meal (lunch) and some demos!

The combination of adrenaline, sleep deprivation and eagerness to show off what you’ve built makes for an extremely fun show-and-tell session that ends Hacksgiving.

Immediately following demos, we’ll vote on the coolest projects, and those teams will receive a top secret special gift.