Methodolatry

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Demonstrating an intense and deep affection for process over results and outcomes.

“Tobias’ is such an asshole. He thinks I don’t understand his ‘process’, but it’s his methodaltry getting in the way of understanding what we’re trying to do!”

Dikinomics

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The effects of extensive and deliberate retrenching by organizations intended to undermine customer gratification. The act of prioritizing all business needs of an organization over everything else, even when the benefits of doing otherwise are apparent.

“Tobias’  decision to charge a $6 convenience fee tickets ordered online came down to a matter of dikinomics.” 

The Status Quo

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A study from last year suggests many of us might not actually like creativity as much as we say we do. That should come as no surprise for anyone who has tried to push for change within their organization.  People talk a good game about creativity in the form of cliches, but their actions demonstrate otherwise.

Most of us like the promise of creativity and it’s potential outcomes, but we’re either worried or suspicious of the process. If you try to think about it from their perspective, it’s not unreasonable.

For those of us who like to push the envelope, upset the apple carts, and turn the world upside down, think about the following. Most of us only find creativity interesting when it’s new, like a puppy. Over time it’s novelty wears off and it’s just a dog. We still love the dog, but we were smitten with the puppy.

Ask yourself whether you’re trying to solve problems with the status quo, or just trying to express yourself. The former is the difference between creativity and innovation. The status quo is innovation’s rival. It’s probably the result of a prior innovation which took a lot of work and requires a lot of work to maintain.

Those who built and benefit from the status quo have a vested interests in it, even if it’s not getting the job done. The really innovative people in an organization are the ones pointing out  problems long before anyone else sees them, or is willing to acknowledge they could exist.

I’m not saying you should give up, even though it is an option, it’s just important to know what you’re up against. 

Pursuing something innovative for the sake of creative expression isn’t worth it. That might be what’s in the back of some people’s mind when they shoot down an idea. Anyone can have an idea, but somebody has to execute. If you don’t have ideas on how that will happen, or the impact on others, then don’t be surprised if they’re not as thrilled about the idea as you are. They might think your baby is ugly too.

Design For America presentation

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I had the good fortune today of attending the Summer Celebration for Design For America

Today was the day the teams presented their projects to sponsors, mentors, and peers. It was truly inspiring. Back in August my company, Idea Momentum, ran a prototyping workshop for them. It was one of a series that was part of their Summer Studio program. 

For those of you unfamiliar with DFA, it’s a freaking cool program that was started at Northwestern University by a professor named Liz Gerber. It takes students from various majors like engineering, biology etc. and introduces them to user-centered design methods. The goal is to come up with solutions for pressing social issues. 

Our workshop was towards the end of the process, so we were able to see all the ideas before they had a chance to really gel. So it was especially interesting to see how much the ideas all evolved for the better in such a short period.

For this Summer’s studio program, there were four teams with different assignments:

  • Reduce falls among the aging
  • Reduce obesity among young children through healthier eating habits
  • Reduce water waste at restaurants
  • Reduce unemployment among the disabled

If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking they’ve all bit off more than they can chew. Today’s event was a presentation of all four teams ideas for solutions. Not only did each group present great ideas, they presented plausible solutions. 

These kids all came up with solutions that were easy to grasp and totally feasible. To me that’s at the heart of innovation. Otherwise, who cares if you can come up with big ideas to big problems if they’ll never get implemented. That’s just an exercise in futility.

Lastly, I don’t want to leave out Sami and Thea, who are doing an awesome job running the day to day and nitty gritty. Thanks for inviting us.

When A Kickstarter Campaign Fails, Does Anyone Get The Money Back? : All Tech Considered : NPR

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When A Kickstarter Campaign Fails, Does Anyone Get The Money Back? : All Tech Considered : NPR.

So I call Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler, and ask: What if Uhrman isn’t able to deliver the consoles? Would Kickstarter get involved?

“You know, that would be new ground,” he says. “I don’t know. I mean, no, I don’t think that we would. But certainly, the kind of thing you’re talking about is not a bridge that has been crossed yet. Someday it will. And you know, I think if something did go awry, it would be — it wouldn’t be my favorite day.”

Whoa, back up. After all the hype I’ve been hearing about Kickstarter, I had no idea they had such an incompetent person at the helm. Even if “crossing that bridge” is official company policy, you shouldn’t say it out loud. Regardless of whether I think the world needs another iPhone case, graphic novel, or farm-to-table Podcast, they are still dealing with intellectual property. 

I find most of the stuff on the site contrived, and pointless, but there are some cool and worthwhile projects (think SparkTruck). However, I wouldn’t invest in any of them.

VCs will tell you, they don’t fund ideas, they invest in people. They also know there’s a chance they could lose their entire investment. If Kickstarter wants to be funding platform, that should be part of their message even if it might put a damper on things. Until then, they’re just a marketplace for ideas and ideas are cheap. Implementation is where the money is at. 

Crowd funding is compelling. I think it’ll come into it’s own like e-commerce. When it does, I just don’t think it’ll look like Kickstarter.