I think experimentation is underrated!
Only through experimentation can an idea reveal its true potential. Deep research, multiple approaches, and Minimal Viable Product (MVP) testing are all part of my atomic laboratory. As a daydreamer who thrives on tackling creative challenges, I take great joy in defining the customer experience, generating marketing ideas, and building brands (with the help of an extended creative family) using a unique style of all-source collaboration.
By diving into my own experiences, asymmetrical talents, and skills learned while working with other disciplines, I have created a capability that allows me to fuse all sorts of interesting ideas into successful business solutions.
The hard slog of failing can teach you that doing something is still cheaper than doing nothing. I continue to let go of everything I did not do right, and focus on breathing life into new concepts and surrounding each idea with like-minded thinkers. My prototypes (e.g. Minimal Viable Products (MVP)), take advantage of as much recent learning as I can get from the real world. There is nothing like real-world data to help push my development thinking toward a better idea. I am also amazed at how well the Lean Startup process has worked in building products.
As a philosophy, the Lean Cycle of “Build, Measure, and Learn”, is a simple process to understand, but difficult to implement quickly. As I figure out how to move through the cycle, I often find myself discovering what works and does not work much faster than ever before. Unfortunately, many of my MVP projects are failures. But each time I did find incredible insight into what DOES work! Without this value — which is sometimes difficult to uncover — I would have never gleamed positive elements from each experience.
Each time around my Lean cycle has made me a better builder, which in turn, has made me a better starter.
I believe that a good customer experience is now an expectation - and the first, middle, and last reason for every design choice! But the only way to build that experience is to step outside of the laboratory and get my ideas into the real world. I am comfortable working with every skill in the development wheelhouse, and I have been in each position (at one point or another) throughout my career. I can write code but know that my stronger talents are in concept development, idea generation, and creative strategy.
I often find the best way to communicate with fellow developers is by using the whiteboard to brainstorm workflows and features but make sure we keep true to the project’s real purpose. Sometimes this leads to some very interesting possibilities, even if the majority of them are left off the final product. But like any skill, the more brainstorming we do, the better we get at delivering a quality product. I would like to think that there is always time to explore one more feature branch, however, getting something into the real world is an important part of the process.
A great way to build software is to start by solving your own problems so that you’ll know what’s important and what’s not. Because when I solve my own problems, I often create a tool that I’m passionate about; and passion is the key! I have always had a starter’s spirit and enjoy being a technology and outdoors enthusiast. When I’m not finding new places to ride my mountain bike, I am a strong advocate of the “less software means fewer features, less code, less waste” philosophy and often experiment with open-source software to create new and interesting applications.
I am a practitioner of Jason Fried’s Getting Real, Rework, and Remote philosophies and find that they serve as my foundation for creating customer-focused products. These ways of thinking also provide me the fortitude to push back against the tide of feature creep that eventually impacts every product. I believe the customer is served best when we champion elegant products that do just enough — and no more. As a result, I have often found myself being the only one in the room who truly speaks for the customer’s best interest.
Although I understand the trade-offs required when building products for customers, I enjoy building a consensus between all involved that includes real customers, or at a minimum, the customer’s point of view.