A few weeks ago, Fallon conducted an interesting experiment. It began with a Brainfood presentation by Director of Innovation Marty Wetherall entitled “Startup and Never Stop: How the Startup Mentality is Changing Everything (Especially Advertising)”. The presentation concluded with a call for startup ideas to participate in the first ever Fallon Startup Challenge.
A small team led by Wetherall reviewed idea submissions from Fallon employees and eight finalists were interviewed. Ideas were considered based on their potential for solving a consumer problem using technology and their ability to be prototyped quickly. Ultimately, the plan was to choose one idea and dedicate a single day to building it to a level where users could use it and Fallon could learn from it.
Tuesday began with a 9 AM gathering in Fallon’s lobby where it was announced that Business Manager Mona Morris’s idea for a mobile garage sale finder had been selected. The six person startup team — Wetherall, Technical Director Rich McGeheran, Creative Technologist Jacob Abernathy, Creative Developers Kla Haeck and Hiro Kato, and Connection Planner Chad Koehnen (standing in for Kelly Sainz, who was out sick) — then piled into the room that would be their home for the day. Morris joined in to help with a whiteboard session that defined features and development goals. The resulting feature list was cut in half and prioritized, and the race was on to the 5 PM demo deadline.
5 PM came quickly, but the startup team was there on time to present their work, including a live demo, a go to market strategy, and more than a day’s worth of valuable learnings. The experiment successfully introduced — and more importantly, demonstrated — a whole new way of concepting, executing, and delivering ideas, and for that its value is just beginning to be grasped.