Hackdays: GotClocked

Twice a year, Vokal sets aside two “Hack Days” for our team members to help bring their individual ideas to life and pursue new solutions to challenges they identified. Fresh off the heels of our first event, we invited Josh Wu to share his experience.

Product Owner Edition

GotClocked.com is more than just a snarky name that Milk tried to take a swig at with its "got Milk" campaign. Actual truth may vary.

Twice a year, Vokal sets aside two “Hack Days” for our team members to help bring their individual ideas to life and pursue new solutions to challenges they identified. Fresh off the heels of our first event, we invited Josh Wu to share his experience.

The Group

Introduce yourself, and explain a little about what you and your team set out to solve. 

I’m Josh, and I’m a product owner at Vokal. I had heard legends of a consultant who brought a clock to a meeting to measure costs instead of time. For years, I thought of it every time I was in an hour long, 15-person conference call. My idea for Hack Days was to take that concept, modernize it, and make it available for everyone to use by building a free, cross-platform application. On the morning of our Hack Days kickoff, I pitched the idea. I needed a designer, a frontend web developer, a guy on marketing and content, and a hardware expert to build an actual clock.

And so, Team Clocked assembled. Joe Call led UX and design. The powerhouse Chris Marshall built the web, the iOS and Android apps, and even the desktop applications. Nick Hall drove marketing concepts and copy. And Adam Bain provided both the backend and the hardware experience.

 

How did it all play out?

Day 1

9:30am  I gave the pitch. Team Clocked was born.

10:00-10:30am We claimed a room, synced up on what we were building, and defined exactly what features we did and did not want. Joe whiteboarded wireframes. Adam awaited the shipment of the clock's hardware.

10:30am - 2pm Joe went to work on the designs and UI. Chris started building and even hunted down plugins for the clock animation. Nick and I continued feature definition and explored possible extensions. Adam (sadly) was still waiting on the hardware.

12:23pm The GotClocked name was chosen, and we purchased the domain.

2pm-4pm  Joe handed off all visual assets to Chris. Chris by this time had built most of the core functionality. Adam began to play with some hardware donated by Bill Best.

4pm It was beautiful. GotClocked.com was up and running. The cost counter didn't math properly (details, details) and we didn't get to the email functionality yet. Adam was still waiting for the hardware. Also, shots.

7:30pm  UPS confirmed they lost the package. That’s a full day lost on the hardware side.

8:00pm UPS found the package, so we went to pick it up.

Day 2

8:30am Breakfast, bug fixes, and scope-creeping our features list with a marketing page, content, and general branding.

12:00pm  Joe and Nick shot videos of people around the office.

2:00pm  Joe and Nick handed off video to Chris to build the landing page.

2:40pm  Site handoff to Adam to deploy to GotClocked.com

3pm  We finished and went on to give a showcase to the office. 

What worked well in this process? What didn't?

It was incredible how well-oiled we five dudes were. Everyone respected everyone else's roles and trusted that each individual would focus and deliver what they had to deliver. When we had a new idea and had to change what was already defined, everyone pivoted so quickly and so wonderfully. For example, adding the email follow-up was a feature thrown in at the very end. Adding the snarky comments was thrown in after email. Adding the video landing page was completed right before the showcase.

I'd also like to point out that being in the same room was absolutely amazing. The ability to have a thought, to share it, and to get reactions instantly from product, design, backend, and frontend… It allowed us to move very, very quickly. We could discuss if an idea makes sense, if it's technically feasible, how it will look, and how long it will take to build from beginning to end. All in less than 2 minutes. It makes email feel so slow and antiquated.

What's next for GotClocked?

We have some ideas. We've since created a desktop application (Mac and Win), and we're ready to push out an iOS and Android app. We'd love to integrate this with Outlook and Google calendars for recurring meetings, recurring participants, and follow-up emails. Our president Jerry is also interested in using this to measure the effectiveness of our own internal meetings.

But mostly we just want to share it with people. Visit GotClocked.com and let us know what you think and how we can evolve it to meet your needs.