RadioHack Confessions


From Friday, March 17th to Sunday, March 19th DAVID’s own Albert Menacher and Stephen Harwood participated in the first Radiohack Europe by Radiodays. This is their confessional.

Imagine you are thrown into a big room together with people you have never met before and you are asked to create a prototype of an innovative idea within 30 hours. Not just by doing a presentation but writing software that works. And then you have 4 minutes to present it to a high profile jury. Welcome to Radiohack Europe 2017.

Stephen Harwood and I decided to participate in order to have some fun and also see if we can bring life to our ideas in this short amount of time. So how does it work?

Friday 7pm: Initial get together at the Hotel. We make some friends and have a good time.

Saturday 9am: First official meeting. Anybody can pitch an idea to the participants. After this initial round the teams form spontaneously. They are consisting out of developers, designers and radio enthusiasts. Stephen and I end up in a group with new friends from prepr and RadioNET and our idea is to make broadcast radio more shareable by mixing it up with social media and gamification techniques. We call it RADIOFICATION.

Saturday 12pm: The team members sit in different corners. We don’t get each other. No real interaction. This is hard!

Saturday 2pm: Crisis meeting. Something changes. From being strangers with different perceptions on how to execute we start to get each other. All of a sudden it is quite easy to find a sexy solution that everyone agrees on.

Saturday 6pm: We present our approach in our second pitch and are pretty happy with our progress. Maybe we even get some sleep?

Sunday 3am:  Some things did not work, some additional ideas are coming up. Most people code, I am writing value propositions and a story to tell. We have some initial integration working. Some sleep for me, others will work the night through.

Sunday 9am: Last standup meeting before the big presentation. Some more advice on timetable etc..

Sunday 11am: We have proven that we can exchange information and media. Finalizing the pitch and making things shine.

Sunday 4.30pm: Presentation time, we will be doing presentation number 6 out of 7

Sunday 5.03pm: The team before us is presenting. Maybe I should prepare a small Powerpoint presentation up front? There is still time.

Sunday 5.07pm: We are up. We created a quick presentation of 2 slides. We showcase our idea. I select a segment and hit the button to publish it on the RADIOFICATION platform. Not even 3 seconds later it shows up in the social feed. IT WORKED! BLISS!

Sunday 5.11pm: We have timed our pitch perfectly. Now it is time to relax, see the last pitch and wait for the jury.

Sunday 5.30pm: The winners are announced. We come in third. Not bad!

So what was the final solution?

We were able to automatically segment broadcast radio so it becomes interactive in a social feed and can be enhanced with quizzes, challenges and votes. We wanted to create a benefit for the listener (more fun and rewards interacting with the radio station), the broadcast planners (automatically generate content that can be shared in digital formats) and the Program Director (finding out what makes a show successful by measuring the interaction level of different show segments).

But what was much important is that you go through a process that gives you a lot of restrictions but enables you to execute on one or two ideas. You have to prioritize and to think a lot on what it is that makes your ideas valuable. All in all, definitely an experience worth it.


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