Planning vs Pathfinding

A detailed plan is useful when you know what you’re doing: when you (or others) have done the thing, or when you’ve been somewhere before. If you know where to go and how to get there a map saves a great deal of time and energy. But detailed planning is less useful when you don’t know the way: when you’re…

Malcolm Gladwell on creativity, quality and quantity

This is from a great New Yorker article – I recommend checking out the whole thing. He refers to the researchers at Xerox Parc (often credited as the inventors of the computer mouse, graphical internet, ethernet and laser printing) as Wild geysers of creative energy The psychologist Dean Simonton argues that this fecundity [of ideas] is often at the heart…

The Toolkit – Part 1: Foundations (10) – early stage mission statements

It’s possible that in the early stages of your project or organisation you have no clear idea about how to make progress towards your vision. This is fine. In these cases you can choose to: delay officially launching and sharing about your organisation’s mission until you have a better sense of direction make research your first mission, and iterate on…

The Toolkit – Part 1: Foundations (9) – stable vision, evolving mission

This post is part of the working draft of the DriverlessCrocodile Toolkit (read more here). I’d love comments, links to resources related to the theme, and original contributions. Once you’ve got a clear vision (the “why” of what you do) and a clear mission (how you think you’re going to do it), we’re almost ready to move on to the…

Amazon: working backwards and other stories

I’m late to the party on this, but I’ve just come across this very helpful technique for developing products and services, as used at Amazon. Essentially, you start by immediately writing a customer-facing press release for the finished product, and work backwards from there: Each consists of a one-page “press release” (for an offering that doesn’t even exist and might…

Resources: Steve Blank Playlist

If you’re not familiar with Steve Blank, start here: The Principles of Lean “No business plan survives first contact with customers.” On Acting on Customer Discovery If you’re going to go out and discover whether customers like your idea or not, this is not an outsourceable problem. The founders need to do this. Particularly, the people capable of changing strategy…

Seeds (2): bikes, planes and automobiles

Many of the seeds of the automobile industry came from bicycle manufacturers (I touched on this in Use, Copy, Repair, Make), and on a visit to the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu I learnt some more of the story. Karl Benz, widely credited as the maker of the first practical automobile, started in mechanical engineering and ironwork and started experimenting…

Sketchpad studio springboard

Fit for Purpose or Good Enough mean different things depending on what we’re talking about, who it’s for and where and how it’s going to be seen – which is to say that they exist in a network, and that Good Enough can change even for a single piece of work. This often happens as a function of time: Dirt…