Prototyping thru life

July 19, 2017


Prototyping is arguably one of my favourite ways to solve a problem — and that is to do it in a simple, low-cost, and reflective manner. This applies to more than just my work in product development. I “prototype” activities/hobbies that I want to explore, recipes that I want to try, career options I am curious about, and different ways to complete DIY projects. And while I don’t always get it “right” off the bat, what I learn from the process relative to the simplicity and agility makes it all worth it.

According to D-School at Stanford, prototyping is all about getting ideas and concepts out of your head and into the physical world. While most people think prototyping is a difficult thing that requires code or a 3D printer, it is actually the opposite. It can be anything that is physical — post-it notes, storyboard, role-playing activity, space, etc. How fleshed out the prototype is should reflect where you are in the problem solving / project journey. Key objectives of prototyping is to learn, solve disagreements / confusion, move quickly and cheaply, and build build build. (One I would add is that it nudges one to take action opposed to pondering on how to do it “right”)



1) Pick one idea or question that you think has the highest (potential) value but also uncertainty


2) Figure out what you want to learn


3) Find the simplest, cheapest, and faster way to learn


4) Set resolution based on how far along you are in the project — earlier on, keep it simple (drawing the concept counts here!)


5) Test the prototype against learning objectives


6) Reflect on learnings / insights


7) Repeat

Thanks @jovie90 for being a great cooking partner 

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