Rapid Prototyping : Little Bets for Big Wins


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It’s time to reconsider the traditional methods you have used to convince your boss and clients to spend budget on your big innovation, R&D, or marketing ideas. The days of communicating your ideas via PowerPoint, jpegs, static webpages, wireframes, and sketches are over. Say hello to rapid prototyping.

Today’s marketplace requires constant innovation. The idea of making “little bets” to discover, develop, and test an idea has taken hold. And in this new paradigm, you need to be able to “fail fast”…and “fix fast”. Budgets are tight; there’s no room for costly, time-consuming conceptualizing to determine the viability of an idea. You will learn how to take an idea from concept to a tangible, interactive prototype in 30-90 days, complete with hardware and/or software. This is rapid prototyping. Products and software are dynamic and visual; static images and long text descriptions no longer do the trick. You get the feedback you need to either “fail fast” or secure a larger investment in a tangible and cost-effective manner.

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  • Jeff
    Today we’re here to show you how to use prototyping to take little bets, for big wins
    Part of a bigger discussion that we have with clients. We tried to whittle it down to the most important points and tips.
    Rapid prototyping - a means to an ends. It’s part of a larger strategy around to promote innovation.
  • i think it’s important to talk about the problem we trying to solve. so i’m going to set that up first.
  • Let’s talk about a concept we call Idea Mortality Rate.
    I’m skipping ahead a few steps here because i’m assuming that I don’t need to convince you that firms want to innovate.
    What’s stopping firms from innovating isn’t generally a shortage if ideas.
    It’s their IMR.
  • One of two things happen…
  • You end up with an idea blackhole. People don’t want to share any ideas or the org won’t approve projects.
    lot’s of things factor into this.
  • Dying at the right time.
    Cull the heard
  • Erik
    Two ways to look at this:
    There were aspects that were valuable….didn’t need to spend millions to get there.
    Microsoft KIN, Apple Newton both made it to market….but never should have. Took too long to realize it wasn’t a good idea.
    The learnings carried over
    Metro-style UI carried over to Windows Phone 8
    The ARM processor cam out of it, which was used in future Apple mobile devices including a variation in the iPhone
  • Our goal today - help you find Goldilocks (idea factory)
  • Little Bets book by Peter Sims
    Ideas are similar, but different
    three places we see projects miss when it comes to innovating
  • #1 shorten project lifecycles.
    Large organizations incentivize risk avoidance, rather than embrace innovation.
    Trying to plan everything upfront is fruitless:
    Never revaluate the plan
    Plan becomes irrelevant during development
    Can’t plan around unpredictable, ever-changing markets
    shorten project planning. dive in quicker.
  • #2 lower project cost
    Affordable loss - scary word…”loss”.
    People measure loss against zero…not against the big bets!
    Even if the projects “fail” it will still be cheaper than the big-bet alternative
  • #3 - limit project team size
    Bystander effect
    The probability of doing meaningful work is inversely related to the number of people.
    The greater the number of people (bystanders), the less likely it is that any one of them will do work.
    Smaller project size with the “right” people
  • Classic bystander effect example:
    Would you stop to help this person?
  • Would you stop to help this person?
  • Hefty price tag and no market.
    Market analysts said it wouldn’t sell.
    Bill Hewlett said “let’s build a thousand and see what happens”.
    It was an affordable bet.
  • Don’t try to get it all figured out before we start... use smaller experiments to build up to big ideas
    Don’t be too focused on being perfect up front.
    Learn from your mistakes and become great over time
  • What is a prototype?
    A tangible representation of an idea
  • New ideas are hard to communicate and get feedback on.
    No one will ever give you “real” feedback until they can touch and play with it
    Decide if the idea is worth a bigger investment.
  • Prototypes start loosing their value if the process of creating them takes so long you miss the opportunity to iterate.
    “It’s the fidelity of the experience, not the fidelity of the prototype that is important” --Bill Buxton
  • If you get too attached, you’ll inevitably force them to work to justify the effort for creating them
  • Don’t try to prototype the entire system.
    Pick 2-3 things to focus on first.
    Ideally, pick the “hard” parts of the project - the things that are critical to it’s success and prove them out first.
  • Paper prototypes are very fast (and disposable).
    They allow you to iterate through ideas quickly and over time the quality of your ideas will be improved.
  • Foam / hardware prototypes are cheap ways to see relative size and form-factor.
    Very disposable, nobody feels bad about throwing away foam board.
  • New tech, fits right into the little bets mentality
    We use it in addition to paper/foam prototypes
    Wasn’t possible less than 2-3 years ago.
  • Foam, paper..good for Hardware/products…they are recognizable.
    Software is not the same
    Paper or Beta
    not enough meat…or ….waaay too much time
    We like to be somewhere in between. Let me show you an example
  • These are our prototypes.
    Give a sense of motion, timing, app-flow, and is a key part of our design process
  • The whole point is to create tangible representation of your ideas.
    Don’t let them die!
    You hear people say “fail fast” a lot. Thats good, but the point isn’t to FAIL, the point is to arrive at success sooner.
  • You’re trying to break out of this cycle.
  • This is the slide where someone usually says “then repeat!” don’t repeat.
    That’s the point of innovation.
    One of three things should happen.
  • In school, “Fs” are bad, but three important Fs
    Failure IS an option
    Learning from your mistakes will lead to more creative approaches in the future
    Fix and iterate your project to arrive good design sooner.
  • By-products become the building blocks of future success
  • ×