So You’ve Got a Software
          Idea...
      Now What?


                 Dan Pickett
Ideas are easy...



Identifying Ideas Worth Doing Is Hard!

       ...And building them is even harder
Now What?
• Problems Worth Solving
• Identify Who Cares?
• Do the Simplest Thing That Works
• Tell a Story with Sketches a...
Problems worth solving
Unbaked Ideas...
• Have you talked to a potential customer?
• Are you willing to make the investment?
• Have you put it on...
Unthought Out Ideas...
                                    “The Next Twitter”


“Like LinkedIn, but with Facebook Features...
http://tomuse.com/internet-startups-web-20-success-failure-rates/




Win the Lottery?
...Or Dominate a Niche?


•   Make your users money
•   Eliminate a pain point
Oh yeah, and...


CHARGE FOR IT!!!
Who Cares?
Identify Who Cares
http://www.flickr.com/photos/spine/263214639/




 Listen,
then Ask
Conceptualization

•Identify the problem
• Brainstorm on solutions
• Sketch Ideas
http://threetreesstudios.com/andscifi/tag/star-wars/




Brainstorming
Brainstorming Fundamentals

• There are no dumb ideas
• Don’t criticize other people’s ideas
• Build on other people’s ide...
Mind Maps
It’s about brain power...
Identify a
            Core Asset

• Above all else, what do my customers
  need?
• ...Be brutal in slashing features
Minimum
Viable
Product
Courtesy: Jason Robb




Sketching
Rules for Sketching

•Thick Strokes
• Annotate
• Walk Away
Failure In Design
Design With Constraints
More on Sketching...
Words Matter...
             http://www.flickr.com/photos/peterwalshprojects/




Maintain a Glossary
Words Matter...

       http://www.flickr.com/photos/enovember/3471675615/




Tell A Story
User Stories
“        I believe that the hardest part of
     software projects, the most common
                source of project fail...
What’s a user story?

• indicates the person who is seeking some
  type of value from the software
• describes functionali...
User Stories

         As a ...           In order to...
         I want to ...      As a...
         So that ...        I...
User Stories
Independent
Negotiable
Valuable to users or customers
Estimatable
Small
Testable
Acceptance Criteria
Convey Stakeholder Expectations


• I should see a list of talks grouped by
  time slot
• I should be able to select a tal...
More on User Stories
Track
Ship It


If it doesn’t ship, it doesn’t exist.
Iterate
“ As the number of people on a project
increases, however, so does the number
      of communication paths. It doesn’t
   ...
Remember...

• Keep it simple
• Put it on paper before you put it into pixels
• Have conversations, don’t write huge
  doc...
Thanks!!!

Twitter: @dpickett
Site: www.enlightsolutions.com
Email: dpickett@enlightsolutions.com
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So You've Got a Software Idea...Now What?

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A quick guide to evaluating and executing on software ideas. For the execution piece, I touch upon Agile methodologies like iterative development and writing user stories

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  • So You've Got a Software Idea...Now What?

    1. 1. So You’ve Got a Software Idea... Now What? Dan Pickett
    2. 2. Ideas are easy... Identifying Ideas Worth Doing Is Hard! ...And building them is even harder
    3. 3. Now What? • Problems Worth Solving • Identify Who Cares? • Do the Simplest Thing That Works • Tell a Story with Sketches and Words • Ship
    4. 4. Problems worth solving
    5. 5. Unbaked Ideas... • Have you talked to a potential customer? • Are you willing to make the investment? • Have you put it on paper? • Do you know what you’re doing?
    6. 6. Unthought Out Ideas... “The Next Twitter” “Like LinkedIn, but with Facebook Features” “We’re hoping Google will acquire us” “We’ll Make Our Money on Advertising”
    7. 7. http://tomuse.com/internet-startups-web-20-success-failure-rates/ Win the Lottery?
    8. 8. ...Or Dominate a Niche? • Make your users money • Eliminate a pain point
    9. 9. Oh yeah, and... CHARGE FOR IT!!!
    10. 10. Who Cares?
    11. 11. Identify Who Cares
    12. 12. http://www.flickr.com/photos/spine/263214639/ Listen, then Ask
    13. 13. Conceptualization •Identify the problem • Brainstorm on solutions • Sketch Ideas
    14. 14. http://threetreesstudios.com/andscifi/tag/star-wars/ Brainstorming
    15. 15. Brainstorming Fundamentals • There are no dumb ideas • Don’t criticize other people’s ideas • Build on other people’s ideas • It’s about quantity, not quality • Have a facilitator that enforces rules above
    16. 16. Mind Maps
    17. 17. It’s about brain power...
    18. 18. Identify a Core Asset • Above all else, what do my customers need? • ...Be brutal in slashing features
    19. 19. Minimum Viable Product
    20. 20. Courtesy: Jason Robb Sketching
    21. 21. Rules for Sketching •Thick Strokes • Annotate • Walk Away
    22. 22. Failure In Design
    23. 23. Design With Constraints
    24. 24. More on Sketching...
    25. 25. Words Matter... http://www.flickr.com/photos/peterwalshprojects/ Maintain a Glossary
    26. 26. Words Matter... http://www.flickr.com/photos/enovember/3471675615/ Tell A Story
    27. 27. User Stories
    28. 28. “ I believe that the hardest part of software projects, the most common source of project failure, is communication with the customers and users of that software ” - Martin Fowler
    29. 29. What’s a user story? • indicates the person who is seeking some type of value from the software • describes functionality that delivers that value • includes acceptance criteria that elaborates on how the value is realized
    30. 30. User Stories As a ... In order to... I want to ... As a... So that ... I want to... As a registered Barcamp Attendee I want to choose the talks I’m attending So that interested friends can see where I’m going
    31. 31. User Stories Independent Negotiable Valuable to users or customers Estimatable Small Testable
    32. 32. Acceptance Criteria
    33. 33. Convey Stakeholder Expectations • I should see a list of talks grouped by time slot • I should be able to select a talk as one I’m attending • I should be able to link to the talk
    34. 34. More on User Stories
    35. 35. Track
    36. 36. Ship It If it doesn’t ship, it doesn’t exist.
    37. 37. Iterate
    38. 38. “ As the number of people on a project increases, however, so does the number of communication paths. It doesn’t increase additively, as the number of people increases, it increases multiplicatively, proportional to the square of the number of people. ” - Steve McConnell
    39. 39. Remember... • Keep it simple • Put it on paper before you put it into pixels • Have conversations, don’t write huge documents • Pay attention to process
    40. 40. Thanks!!! Twitter: @dpickett Site: www.enlightsolutions.com Email: dpickett@enlightsolutions.com
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