The #Beemathon just ended last weekend with over 600+ registrations from 10 countries. It was a culmination of a busy week at Beem starting with the webinar on the Rise of APIs and ending with the final judging of submissions.
We wanted to share some of the overall lessons learned and feedback for developers on their submissions to be able to improve on their approach.
- Teamwork – As the famous proverb says “If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together”. Most of the submissions were from individuals but teams worked better. This was highlighted by the 1st place winner being a team of three.
- Using Too Many APIs – The #Beemathon rules mentioned that atleast one BeemAPI had to be used from the SMS API, USSD API, Two Way SMS API, OTP API, Payment Collections API & Payments Checkout API. A number of participants tried to incorporate too many APIs into their solutions even if their concept didn’t match those APIs. This obviously over complicated their solutions.
- Pick simpler concepts – Many submissions felt half-baked because devs attempted ambitious things such as showcasing an e-commerce app integrated with our Payments API. These submissions ended up either not working fully or the interface design being very poor. Given the timeline of 3.5 days, developers needed to pick smaller concepts that they were sure to complete.
- Pick a Single SME Challenge / Problem – The submissions that scored higher picked a single SME problem that their solution attempted to resolve. This also holds true for the eventual winners who stuck to this principle.
- Focus on Interface & Usability – Devs being devs tended to focus more heavily on the technical aspects of their solution. The submissions that did better spent more time on making the customer experience better (i.e solution easier to use) as well as showcasing their solution well on the demo video.The Beem team is super excited to continue working with all the applicants for the Beemathon to refine their solutions and turn them into working products or prototypes ready to go to market.
- Validate your idea – Like any startup or technology project its always good to validate your idea with a few users using an minimum viable product (MVP). Even though this was a very short challenge which wouldn’t allow for a full trial, it would have helped Developers to talk to atleast one or two potential users, friends or family about their proposed concept talked to get valuable feedback to validate, improve or scrap the idea.
The Beem team is super excited to continue working with all the applicants for the Beemathon to refine their solutions and turn them into working products or prototypes ready to go to market.