Sunday, July 5, 2009

Final Six

I watched presentations from the final six in embedded and software design categories. With over 300,000 applications for Imagine Cup these twelve represent a rarified atmosphere indeed.

Some common themes are clear, but I will save most of these dozen or so observations for post-competition feedback (after Tuesday). I’ll offer two now, from either end of the advice spectrum.

First, the finalists have multimedia presentations, mixing video, photos, demos, even acting and pleasant PowerPoint slides. The latter may be an oxymoron, but some common approaches were avoiding bullets, mixing text and artwork, simple diagrams and an abundant use of photos.

Second, they are passionate about their applications and their excitement is contagious. They let love of what they are doing show. Devin de Vries, a contestant from 2008 and now a start-up entrepreneur in South Africa, said it best. “The day your job becomes your hobby is your last day of work.”

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