If you have a popular application built upon Yahoo APIs, chances are the company is interested in funding your project. According to Computer World, Yahoo has recently funded or acquired developer applications that began as products of the successful Hack Days.
The Computer World item gives a couple examples from the past and quotes a Yahoo exec about doing more of this type of investment. Meme was an internal project created at Hack Day Brazil. Koprol started at Hack Day Indonesia and was acquired by Yahoo in May.
Yahoo Open Hack Day is the platform via which Yahoo invites developers (hackers) to a location. The event involves a day or two of presentations and then teams build out their applications on the spot and showcase them. Yahoo takes care of all the logistics like tools, technical support and food.
An example of a successful Hack Day was the recent Open Hack Day held in Bangalore, India on July 24-25, 2010. Take a look at the statistics, some amazing numbers for sure. More than 350 developers stayed overnight and presented 110 hacks.
Some of the applications that have been developed are interesting. One winning hack, GitHub Badges, awards Warcraft/XBox-style achievement badges for Github achievements. A sample screenshot from the application shows the badges awarded to Yukihiro "Matz" Matsumoto (Ruby creator) in the Followers category based on Matz's GitHub followers:
The Open Hack Day is here to stay. It is a win-win situation for both sides. The companies get their APIs tested, some interesting applications get created and meet with promising developers. At the very least, the developers get to pitch their ideas in front of Yahoo. It may be a matter of time before other companies follow suit, with their own versions of the Hack Day.