Prototyping, Try and See Culture
Prototyping is a fascinating process. Our ideas switch from our mind to our hands, we make things real! But prototyping can also be Chaos (entropy). Failures can rapidly stack up to the point where we lose our motivation.
We will screw up. Big time. The beautiful thing is that we do fail when prototyping but we do with panache. We share that swagger with anyone who has ever tried something. It bounds us together. That swagger is balancing on the razor edge that separates obsession from bravery
|Try and See Culture premises|
|1. Sure thing: you will fail|
|2. Failure will make you grow|
|3. Failure will make you learn more than anything else|
|4. Failure is positive|
|5. You must try! Just do it|
|Try and See Culture commands|
|1. Be bold|
|2. Focus on now|
|3. Be openminded|
|4. Be curious. Always|
"Try and See Culture"
When we are prototyping we try things. Failure just comes with the process. You have to acknowledge those twists and turns. The first thing to do is realize you are in a Try and See Culture. You just can predict it'll work. You have to try it.
Those "failures" then become something else. They switch from being setbacks to a new knowledge. From negative to positive.
We make entropy into defined. Then little by little Chaos fades out letting the actual realization of your projet in along with new expertise or abilities. Failure is just challenges to make yourself grow out of your current limitations.
So prototyping is above all a state of mind.
That very mind set you hear a lot about in openspaces like ours. Especially nearby the coffee machine.
"Hi how are you? Well, not in the right mindset today you know?"
Now everyone seems to know what it's all about. What is it, really?
Putting words on what we feel is always a hard thing to do. But let just try! It will enable us to introduce our first concept here.
Because a good buildup story never ends on "I nearly did it then I didn't", you must try! The Try and See Culture tells you whatever you do you will ultimately screw up somewhere. It shouldn't scare you. Quite the opposite!
Just do it!
The best way to do it is to do it.
Be focused on now
Distractions are everywhere. In order to prototype properly you must focus solely on the task at hand. It make us avoid mistakes and more importantly it quiets out the little voices that cloud our mind.
When you are purely focused on the task you're working on you become immuned to those inner voice that constantly bully you into believing you're not good enough.
The best thing to do is to time block without any distraction to work on the job at hand.
Live for the mind, is essentially focus on the task at hand.
The Try and See Culture shows you failure is just a way to go further, to grow and transcend yourself. But in order to do that you must keep an open mind. It will help you thinking out of the box to find other solutions.
Those boxes here mean what others do but more importantly what you usually do.
Being open-minded here means being able to thing and act differently.
Going against your very own nature. It might actually be easier than it looks. A good chat with a old friend and a "what if" or even a "why not" might just be what you actually need.
A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it's not open.
Curiosity is tied to open-mindedness. Their combinaison enables you to go further, to surpass yourself. Curiosity when backed up with action makes you reach people, solutions and trials.
If you are wondering "what would happen if I change this" curiosity will make you do the change and you'll know!
We are then on the path of the very first inventors whose eager to satisfy their curiosity through empiricism led them very far. Let's say creating light bulb for instance.
The stomach is the only part of man which can be fully satisfied. The yearning of man’s brain for new knowledge and experience and for more pleasant and comfortable surroundings never can be completely met. It is an appetite which cannot be appeased
The 4 cornerstones of prototyping
The single most important thing is to make something. No matter how refined that is or even it matches the original needs.
Just like for everything the first step is the hardest.
The main challenge is to sit down and get to it while keeping distractions away. Your only mission here is to make something. Anything. Don't quit until you have done something real. A sketch or something more developed.
Now that you made something you must test it.
Confont reality to it. In general what you made must meet a lot of requirements.
Always keep in mind you can't make anything perfect the first time (or even the third for that matter) — you're only human after all.
Everything was fine until it isn't.
Nothing works anymore. Even if you knew failure was pending it's not always easy to carry on.
Try and See Culture preps you for failure. You know it just will happen!
You have all the resources you need to go through them. If you don't you will have to grow by learning new things or meeting new people.
Failure is a facinating source of self improvement. That's why they're so positive.
The more you fail the more you transcend your previous condition to become someone more prepared.
You know what's wrong. You need to work on that.
Sometimes you'll need more than WD40 to get out of a stuck situation. You have to master and chanel your thoughts here. They might be more than one cause than prevent things to go as planed.
The temptation to work on all of them at the same time might be hard to resist but you have to. In short working on all of them at the same time is the best way to lose yourself — and your sleep for that matter.
Tweak each parameter separately instead. You gain control that way. You'll know exactly what cause has what effect.
It will also help you to document your process more thouroughly.
Stay on track. One thing at a time!
- Andreas Brucker on Unsplash
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