Product Hack Week 2014

Releasing The Kraken

This past week EverTrue engineering was given an entire week to deviate from the normal roadmap in order to come up with a hack that would solve a customer pain or help increase their usage of the product.

Engineers had the ability to go solo or form teams.

How We Organized It

We initially sent out an email to the dev team as well as designers notifying them the intended date and rules of engagement.

Prior to the email we set up a trello board and before the kick off it was filled with a ton of really good ideas.

After some scheduling fu, we settled on the first week of October.

We kicked off Monday morning with a quick coordination of who is doing what with the requisite amount of Dunkin Donut Family Packs. Boston Kreme’s don’t keep well on day 2 FWIW.

As for establishing winners, we tasked our sales and customer success teams to judge. It’s worth noting we considered inviting our board to come as well. We’ve also had great success with having customers come in and judge in the past.

Company Impressions

After all the projects were presented I talked to members of the sales and customer success teams to see if they thought the output was worth a week of engineering time. The response was thumbs up across the board. Hack Week was well received across the company and impressed a lot of people, so much so, that it was recommended we do it again in the future.

Projects Presented

  • TrueNews - Automating the process of finding donors that appear in news articles and attaching them to their profile. (Anna Brown and Mark Greene)

  • Event Tracking - Proving out that event attendance is a predictor for giving participation. (Eric Carlstrom, Hai Zhou, and Ayush Sangani)

  • Rapportive for GivingTree - A Chrome plugin that provides a quick profile view of a donor when an email address is detected on the page. (Andrew Hammond)

  • TrueContact - A simple tool to better understand how your FB fans are participating in other social networks. (Eric Herot and Jeff Byrnes)

  • GivingTree Lite - An easy to use version of GivingTree that doesn’t require customer onboarding but allows customers to get insights into their FB pages. (PJ Gray)

  • TrueBuzz - Applying machine learning to identify momentous events in your FB fans’ lives via analyzing sentiment of comments from their posts. (Bob Breznak and Max Kohl)

  • Prospect Identification through ML - Using machine learning to analyze what users do to identify top prospects. (Glenn Primmer)

  • Email and Voice Sync - Integrating all email and voice correspondence with a donor profile. (Julie Reitter and Drew Burch)

  • EverTweet - Using Twitter mentions to infer propensity and engagement between constituents and their organizations. (Alex Tironati and Matt Sly)

  • Trip Planning - An optimized set of workflows and tools to make a destination focused agenda and lead pipeline. (Mat Budelman, Julie Reitter, and Drew Burch)


  • 1st Place - Event Tracking ($500 AMZN Gift Card)

  • 2nd Place - GivingTree Lite ($250 AMZN Gift Card)

  • 3rd Place - Email and Voice Sync ($100 AMZN Gift Card)

People’s Choice Award

We presented some of these projects to the board to show them what we’re up to and they were very excited. So excited in fact, they invented a new category of award for the hack week, aptly named The People’s Choice Award. It was bestowed upon the creators of TrueNews because it automates away a process our customers are already doing today!