Lots of other groups--legal, HR, business development--use hackathons to rethink how they do their job, or how they can restructure what they’re doing. I think the core idea is to take ideas you haven’t had a chance to focus on and think about them in a different way. Lots of companies have the notion of a “think week,” a week to brainstorm other things. It doesn’t have to be in the middle of the night. If a company has hired the right people and trusts its employees to have good ideas, it should trust them to have the free time and autonomy to come up with amazing things the company should explore.