This morning I received the following enquiry regarding my experiences with the Imagine Cup (Software Design Invitational):
If we choose to work on a project and the idea is good, but because of complications if we cud not implement it fully, will that result in negative impact?
My response is a little mixed, essentially the short answer is yes it will but the long answer is no, so long as you prioritise. Of course, if it comes down to two projects that have equal merit with regards to the concept, the impact on the end user etc then the project that is the most complete will score higher than an incomplete implementation.
One of the facets of this competition that so many competitors forget is that at the end of the day there are a lot of entries and a very short amount of time in which the judges have to make a decision. The winning entry might not necessarily be fully complete but the WOW has to be there. For example there were a lot of surprises by this year’s winners. In fact two of the most complete projects didn’t even make the top three!
Remember that the whole competition is time constrained – you need to work out what the most important features of your project are, what the sell factors are, how to best deliver the WOW both in your solution and your presentation. This last point is quite important – you can have the best technical solution but if you can’t present it then you are not going to do well (word of advice: find someone from the business school to join the team as they can help with selling the solution!)