Carsales seeks love at Melbourne hackathon

(Image Credit: Carsales)

Don't worry, here at the Hackfest we haven't moved into classified ads for singles. Carsales is one of Australia's most-popular car listing websites, and just this past weekend the company invited hackers to its offices in Melbourne to find ways to "love thy customer" with new innovations. 

Over the course of three days last week, more than 150 employees from across the business took part in creating brand-new ways of improving their customer experience. The company holds these hackathons on a regular basis, and has a fairly admirable track record with around 50 percent of creations making it into production. 

In total, 32 teams battled it out in the hackathon for the 'Ashes Cup' which they can hold – proudly – for three months. Perhaps more importantly for some, they also get the enjoyment of seeing their idea progress through to a viable product. 

Most of the ideas pitched were to improve tools internally which has a subsequent effect on the service which can be provided to end-customers. Pitches included; internal productivity tools, integration with third parties for inspections and insurance purposes, and better use of data for targeted offerings to Carsales' variety of customers. 

The actual venue was clad in red crepe paper, love hearts, streamers and other sparkly things to fit-in with the love theme. Rather than sitting and waiting for each team participating to make their pitch, voters were able to visit where teams were stationed and listen to a short presentation on each product. 

Five prizes in total were awarded: best in show for dealer, best commercial product, best consumer product, best presentation, and overall winner. We cannot provide specific details of the winners due to commercial reasons. 

Should more companies hold regular internal hackathons? Let us know in the comments.

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