This Friday, the Sabre Labs team is heading to San Francisco to participate in the largest hackathon in the world, the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon. This will be our second year at the event and we’re excited to be part of a growing Sabre presence there.

Our team often gets asked how we come up with the projects that fit in a 24-hours Hackathon, so as we start prepping for our Hack later this week, I thought I would share the components our team has learned contribute to a good Hack.

A Great Story

Every Hack needs a story, a pitch that quickly explains why it is important to the world, what problem it solves or convenience it brings. Here it’s important to remember your audience and even potential judges so that you can clearly make the case on why your Hack is great.

A Good Form Factor

While there are still great apps to be built for the desktop, nothing beats the sizzle of a 24-hour Hack running on cutting edge devices. Whether it’s on a phone or tablet, or something even more exotic like Google Glass or an Android Wear smartwatch, the right form factor not only makes the Hack more appealing, but also more fun to build!

The Right Integrations

Many Hackathons have Application Programming Interface (API) sponsors and partners; using one or more of these not only sets your Hack apart, but may also make you eligible for certain prizes from the sponsor.

Good Rest & “Fuel”

Hackathons are not only a test of technical skill, but of physical stamina and will. Ok, I’ll admit, it’s not like the same kind of physical test that running a marathon would be, but it does present some unique challenges. We work hard to ensure a good night’s rest the day before a Hackathon starts, followed by a “decent” diet throughout the night. That’s not to say you won’t find us with a piece of pizza or an energy drink in hand, it’s just to say that this piece of the Hack can have just as big an influence as the other three.

We think hackathons like the one at TechCrunch Disrupt are a great way not only to push yourself technically, but to meet people that are as passionate about technology as you are. And so, if you find yourself at Pier 48 this weekend, come say hi to the Sabre Labs team…we’ll be happy to show you what we’re Hacking on!