I just got interviewed for the upcoming Govhack Perth 2013 event I am helping to organize. Before this event came up I was looking for a good excuse to get together a “hackathon” type event for Perth. I thought the developer community needed a reason to showcase their awesomeness. GovHack is providing an excellent opportunity for the developers to come together make great stuff and then showcase that to government to drive meaningful change. Win-Win in my book and well worth the effort to help organize
Funny how coding can go. I have looked at an alignment issue across browsers for a number of months. It wasnt a critical issue so I didnt full dive into it until this week and that is when frustration kicked in “Why did this #$!$% not align!” When I finally had enough I asked a co-worker for help and he said simple “Have you looked at vertical-align?” And easy as that it was fixed.
Lessons learned - Ask for help sooner.
Mitch Resnick, MIT Media Lab, founder of Scratchsambirmingham)
Agreed and am on that journey
The more I am working in the Innovation space the more I am finding it to be a tricky beast. Almost any ideas can be innovative or even potentially visionary but the practice of getting from there to a truly innovative product is tricky.
It takes an amazing amount of focus and time to make an innovative product but a simple change in direction or lack of focus cam make it ordinary. I am no expert but my recommendations are to stay focused and stay simple (very difficult).
Focus, Simple, Focus, Simple again
Just finished up a blog post for the upcoming Startup Weekend event. Honestly quite excited to be involved in the event this year. Also great to see entrepreneurs come together and make amazing business in just a weekend (great energy!)
Quick question How do you know you can climb Kilimanjaro (a big mountain in Africa)? Do you know because you “looked at it”, “analyzed every detail”, “made every possible estimates on what you will need”, “made lots of day hikes and got yourself in shape”? OR do you know you can DO IT because well you… DID IT! Sure you might fail the first time or the weather might stop you on an attempt but the only way to truly know if you can climb that mountain is to get started and DO IT!
Hope you are all excited about the upcoming weekend and building an awesome business. For some this will be completely new and exciting experience and for others it might just be another iteration on the cycle of improvement.
Interesting week of development. At the beginning of the week we had an excellent plan to tweak the user interface and add two additional features (attachment upload and a data analysis page). Started to discuss the changes with the awesome developer Jay and ,shit!, found out the database was completely wrong from the beginning.
These type events suck. Instead of adding features the user will use and start getting feedback we have to rewrite the database structure so we can implement changes in the future. Tech Debt sucks.
In the end this is a good learning experience. Yes the lean system of build small measure and improve is awesome but need to take 2 minutes before building to ensure what you are building is scaleable.
Working through a week of user feedback and wow it is amazing. Blind user feedback can make you cringe at times but leads to some exciting and motivating actions. The current format of one week of development with one week of feedback is working like magic. This feedback week has fully focused and finalized the features and improvements for next weeks development cycle. Each week the site is improving leaps and bounds.
Finally need to keep the basic user experience rules in mind constantly, a focus on Simplicity, Guided Persuasion, Customization, and Conditioning.
At the end the goal is to take the best practices and user experiences from current consumer sites (amazon, twitter, basecamp, trello,…) and push them into the O&G market for SMEs. Focus, focus, focus
Enjoying the first week of build/measure/learn… rinse/repeat. It is great to have the developer, Jay, in house and deploying daily/hourly. This type of weekly focus with a clear deadline pushes us to finish the agreed upon objectives. The program made a clear step change this week and need to push for feedback next week so usability improvements can be made the week after.
Learning of the week-
Deploy, deploy, deploy,…
Excellent quick read. Good correlation between physical product manufacturing (something I know) and IT product manufacturing (something I am learning). Some key learnings from the book are
- Focus on Business Goals (what delivers value) not IT goals
- Deploy fast and often. Longer cycles means more Waiting in Production.
- Shorten all cycles. More focused goals, quicker deployment
- Integrate the business cycle from market feedback to development to deployment to security in one process, not seperate centers
- Software needs proactive maintenance as well
- Version control is your friend
- Standardize, Standardize, Standardize
- Tech debt is a bitch
Always enjoy these style of book. Good story with lots of relevant information