The Remaining Hours Are More Than Enough To Get In The Game

thp-time-leftWhether you’re just finding out now or are a procrastination ninja, it is not too late to give yourself a shot at winning that trip to space. The Hackaday Prize is really just getting started. At 11:50pm Wednesday night ( that’s PDT on 8/20/14, or 06:50 GMT on Aug 21) we close the entry window and the build phases will begin. That’s right, you don’t actually need to have any hardware done, you only need to document your idea and how you’re going to get there.

Close your eyes and assemble your vision of a connected device. Now open them and start typing. You need to share your overall idea and how you’re going to get there. Draw out a basic system design, and film a video of 2 minutes or less that explains it all. Think this sounds like a lot? You’re wrong… I did it in only a few minutes.

When will you have such a great opportunity to win something awesome and secure the adoration of the hacking masses? Enter now and have no regrets!

70 thoughts on “The Remaining Hours Are More Than Enough To Get In The Game

    1. Its pretty easy to just add 4 quick project logs. Don’t think of them as some big complex beast, project logs can be more flow of consciousness than detail build documentation. You could write a project log about how you feel your device is ‘connected’, what power supply requirements you will have, what mcu platform you are thinking about (just thinking mind you, it doesn’t need to be final) and one about why you care about your project. Doesn’t take long so its easy to fulfill this requirement.

        1. Oh you can use them however you like, just don’t want people to make the mistake of thinking they have to do really detailed posts. Its even better to do full build detail posts if you have them though!

  1. Space? Space sucks. I mean it is like a vacuum isn’t it? Is this some kind of code for getting high? You know, like the Steve Martin skit, Let’s Get Small. Once I got really small and climbed inside a vacuum cleaner.

        1. Rob (the comment below mine) covers this in much better detail, but you have no assurances of someone not stealing your idea if you put it up on Hackaday. You also have no assurances if you put your idea up on Instructables, Thingiverse, in a reddit comment, or telling a potential investor what your idea is.

          I must point out, though, that ideas are worthless. Double decker lazy boy. There’s an idea, and as far as I know, an original idea. Totally worthless. What matters – the only thing that matters – is the implementation and how you turn that idea into something real.

          1. Not worry too much about kickstarter, but Chinese clones of your hard efforts can be very real and there is almost nothing you can do to stop that.

            While the HaD contest stresses on Open Source, it doesn’t however means that all of your implementations have to be completely open source nor do they have to be up to date or bug free. (insert evil thought here)

          2. That was a harsh lesson once…

            I must add, there is fortunately a small clique of individuals among whom ideas are not worthless! Amongst hackers these people aren’t as rare as unicorns but they are not restricted to the hacker culture. Key to their character appears to be a very fertile imagination, in which other people’s ideas may take root and grow.

            It is for these people that ideas should be kept free. Not worthless, but free.

        2. Come on, if you are that concerned with protecting your intellectual property, do it the same way you would if you were posting it on any other site. Release it under a gpl license or something similar that doesn’t allow use in commercial projects, or whatever you specifically want.

          1. That does not work. An idea can be patented, but it cannot be copyrighted, so releasing an idea under the GPL does nothing (the physical representation can be copyrighted, but if someone makes a product, it’s perfectly fine). Of course, if you publish it you cannot patent it anymore. Hardware designs are in most jurisdictions also not copyright-able, so copyleft open hardware is at least a gray area.

          2. Well obviously an idea itself cannot be legally protected, that would be ridiculous. If you are so selfish you won’t even share an idea then, well, keep it to yourself.

          3. Companies make money from ideas. I bet most of them wouldn’t share the money. So fair’s fair. Ideas are where all technology comes from, and all art and design. You can’t have anything without thinking it up first.

            In this case the answer is, I think, “don’t enter the comp if you want to keep your idea secret”. I don’t know if there’s rules in this context against using already-patented ideas, if those ideas and their patents belong to you. Maybe even if they don’t. But at the very least the one thing the contest doesn’t offer is secrecy, can’t blame them for that.

    1. You have no such assurance. But what you do have is a posted record of what is known as “prior art”. If anyone came along later and tried to profit from your idea, you would have a record that you had come up with that idea first. It’s not particularly enforceable without having at least a provisional patent, but it’s there and you could (with legal help) bluster about it enough that you might be able to convince kickstarter to pull the project. Maybe. It’s a toss. Odds are good though that someone else has already had your idea, so whatever it is likely isn’t particularly new, though it might be novel in the form in which you propose it.

      Interestingly enough, a number of studies have shown that discussing your idea for a new project is actually far more beneficial to you as the creator than not discussing it. In short, the odds of anyone running off with the idea and doing all the heavy lifting to get it to market are sooooo very slim, that you’re better served by floating your idea to others, getting feedback/input, and using that received information to determine how to proceed with your idea (and not proceeding is a very valid option… other people are great for pointing out your blind-spots and re-tethering you to the anchor of reality).

      So, to sum it up, the odds are squarely against your idea being useful or new, but the only way to find out it whether or not that is the case is to discuss your idea and get feedback. The odds are also strongly against anyone running off with your idea, so you can proceed with reasonable confidence that if it’s really worth doing, you alone possess the uniquely necessary combination of knowledge, will, drive, and resourcefulness to pull it off. People are generally too busy and too possessive of their own ideas, problems, and schedules to make time to incorporate an idea of yours into their life. You’re safe.

      Just post already. The mocking will come soon enough. Success might just follow sometime after that. There’s only one way to find out for sure.

      1. “If anyone came along later and tried to profit from your idea, you would have a record that you had come up with that idea first.”

        The US is now a first to file system, not first to invent.

        1. Please read it in context. I was suggesting that you might be able to generate enough legal bluster to get kickstarter to pull a project that was directly ripping off your idea. I wasn’t suggesting that it was enough to carry water in the courts. :-)

          I also pointed out that a provisional patent would be more useful in actually defending your idea (if you felt it was worthy enough to justify entering into the process of filing for a provisional patent).

        1. No problem. I’m glad to hear that. The TLDR of the post is thusly: The number one killer of potentially useful ideas is keeping them to oneself. Where you choose to disclose them is up to you, but without some kind of disclosure it is a near certainty that your ideas will go nowhere.

      2. Odds schmods. If someone else really has had my idea then they are keeping it off of the Internet too. If that is actually the case then great minds really do think alike. Because if it was out there I’d have seen it already. You must think that beyond being a terribly uncreative boob that I’m blind too! You do realize that people involved enough to come up with ideas are also engaged to the point where they often times make an effort to study their interests as well, don’t you?

        I at least know how my focus orients itself. Although I do not expect you to even give me that much credit. I know your type all too well unfortunately. Besides that you over simplifier patenting is costly, and protecting patents is something that only those with the deepest pockets can even contemplate doing.

        The only option left open to us little guys is keeping things to ourselves if we really do not wish them to be exploited by others without our consent. I’m pretty generous, but that still doesn’t mean I want to give away absolutely everything that I have ever worked hard for.

        1. I’m not sure what you’re saying here, pcf11. Usually you make more sense, and sometimes I even agree with you. But this, this I don’t follow. You seem to think that I’m making a lot of assumptions about you and that I have “a type” and that you know “my type”. I’m not sure what “my type” is. Heck, I wasn’t even addressing my post to you. I was addressing it to 5tevven. So I’m not sure what I’ve done to deserve whatever it is that you are dishing out here.

          While I don’t know you or your type, I do wish you well.

        2. Take a look at what is posted on this website on a daily basis. People come up with ideas, and share them as fully as they can. It’s not “giving” anything away, you don’t lose anything and in return other people share their ideas with you.

      1. Exactly. There is nothing stopping you from from launching a successful kickstarter with your open hardware too. Look at Dave Jones from EEVBlog, he releases all his hardware open source and has tonnes of people knocking his designs off, but still manages to ship numbers from crowd source campaigns.

        The hard part isn’t the design, it’s the deployment to market.

      1. I pulled that post. I did not see it until it had published and decided it is not in good taste. Our goal is to publish worthwhile content that sparks a meaningful conversation. That post struck me more as an attention getter.

    1. Why not make a 2 minute video where a picture of your idea slowly grows from a starfield while the imperial march from Star Wars plays in the background, and then yellow text describing it drifts upwards? No talking or filming required, just basic video editing and a pirated mp3 :P

    1. I have a feeling that the project that I really wanted to do isn’t “connected” enough to go very far. I threw on bluetooth datalogging for it as an unnecessary, mildly useful thing.

      Hope there are lots of consolation prizes! I’d be happy with a t-shirt.

  2. Hey there,
    I got a question: is there the possibility for Italian people like me to participate just for the glory? I mean, it is very unfair to exclude us for the prizes, but could I at least send my entry and participate just to see where it could arrive? I’d be very very happy just seeing my name in the list of winners, should it be judged well.

    Please let me know, it is very important for me.


    1. You are more than welcome to post about your project. But you will not be able to officially submit it for the contest.

      Get as many details about it up there as you can, then send us a link on our tips line. Who knows, maybe we’ll feature it on the front page.

      1. Well, it has actually appeared on the front page, in Hacklet #7 : MIDI , and I was really happy about that! Who knows what will come next! Anyway, what are the main reason of the exclusion of those particular countries? I mean, I may have an idea about why such contests may be prohibited in North Korea, but for Quebec and Italy this sounds pretty strange nonetheless.

        1. The restrictions on country are mainly due to legal requirements enforced by that particular locality. Quebec for instance requires that all competitions be run in French as well as English, we don’t have the capacity to ensure all content is in French as well so we had to rule that one out. Similar restrictions apply in a fair number of countries. We really did try with the lawyers to get this as open to as many locations as possible, but such is the state of international law I’m afraid.

          1. Wow, talk about praise from On High!

            Basically it’s a bit like the Magnetophone from last year — except no microcontrollers; note selection is entirely by human interface.

            When it’s done I promise there will be at least one video ;) I’m about as musical as a sledgehammer — but I’ve got a friend and local musician who is *very* interested in finding out what that thing sounds like. (He’s not the only one :D )

  3. Whole front page is HaD price, with actual interesting content being pushed down.

    By putting this post “always at first” you are pretty much “fuck you people who make actual hacks, our contest is more important”

    1. It’s not like they are running a business or anything, right?
      Hackaday have to make good on a deal that was probably incredibly difficult to organise and most likely will not happen again. Don’t like it? Nobody’s forcing you to visit Hackaday.

  4. Hi, I’ve just uploaded my video. It’s only 1min 27 sec long, and is more of an introduction than a demonstration of my project. Is this OK? Also, like netbeard above said “I’d hate to get disqualified over a technicality or minor detail”. It would be very reassuring if Brian or another of the Hackaday staff could give me the thumbs up that all is well with my entry..
    Thanks in advance,
    Roger Curry

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