I really enjoyed reading the results of the JotSpot hackathon. I've been keen on the idea of a hackathon for a while now - (although not with such a l33t name...) Back in December, when we were planning our R&D Convention for this year, I was keen to take the R&D guys through what I had called (in a very boring, non-l33t way) : "Something Great". The aim of Something Great was to give everybody everything they could want for in terms of tools and food, allocate some time, and get them all to come up with, well, something great, that wasn't related to their daily work, but could still potentially benefit the company.
The reason I was keen on this idea is because when you are working on maintaining and building the same product that you've been doing for (in some cases) 20 years, you kind of forget the fun thing about being a computer programmer - the fact that you can make really new innovative things that impress, delight and amaze people. And maybe it might be a great way for people to realise how talented people actually are, when given total freedom to do things their own way.
Anyway, It turned out it wasn't practical to ship everybody's machines and stuff around, and would've taken far too much time to co-ordinate, so I ended up going with boring powerpoint slides instead (no! - it's actually true...) But, the thought was there.
And I still think the idea of a one-day Hackathon might be fun - and actually produce some amazing innovative stuff. I'd be willing to give up a Saturday to play Air Hostess and Cheerleader for any developers who were up for the challenge.
I might even have some costumes lying around somewhere...