Turning Ideas into Reality
experimental hands-on try-it-out approach is
You never know the real value of your invention until you test market it.
Rapid prototyping is about building and testing new things fast. It helps
you jump past endless analysis to quickly obtain a valuable
"Before there is a prototype, the ideas exists
in abstract form only,"
writes Paul Sloane.2 "It is described in
words and leaves scope for misunderstanding. It is hard for the originator
to convey exactly what he or she has in mind, and it is easy for people to
get hold of the wrong end of the stick. Once the prototype exists then
people can see and touch and feel the idea. Comments for
flow thick and fast. Whether the prototype is a model in cardboard and
string or a software application consisting of a few skeleton screens with
nothing behind them, it presents a framework for refinement and extension of
I invented inspirational →
in 2001. Today, I have
customers in over 130 countries
licensed teachers all over the world.
10 Success Lessons
from Business e-Coach
Though I understand my target market
well enough, I keep launching every new mini-course as a prototype to test
the market. I start with developing and releasing a free micro-course
to analyze the market feedback. I experiment with everything: content,
creative marketing approaches. Having
discovered the optimum combination of ingredients of success, I create and
launch a full-scale show.
Michael Bloomberg is an incredible
and a billionaire, and
also a Mayor of New York City. In his book Bloomberg By Bloomberg he
writes, "We made mistakes, of course. Most of them were omissions we didn't
think of when we initially wrote the software. We fixed them by doing it
over and over, again and again. We do the same today. While our
are still sucking their thumbs trying to make the
design perfect, we're
already on prototype version No. 5. By the time our rivals are ready with
wires and screws, we are on version No. 10. It gets back to planning versus
act from day one; others plan how to plan – for months.'
A Source of Inspiration:
Encourage Accidental Discoveries
"Quick prototyping is about acting before
you've got the answers, about taking chances, stumbling a little, but then
making it right. Living, moving prototypes can help shape your ideas. When
creating something new to the world, you can't look over your shoulder
to see what your competitors are doing; you have to find another source of
IDEO. "Once you start drawing or
making things, you open up new possibilities of discovery. Doodling,
drawing, modeling. Sketch ideas and make things, and you're likely to
encourage accidental discoveries. At most fundamental level, what we're
talking about is play, about exploring borders."
6 Innovation Practice Tips
Prototyping is a Dance
"Prototyping is a dance," writes
IDEO. Sometimes the music doesn't
move you or your steps fail. But that's no reason to stop. Just as writer's
block happens when writers stop writing, so, too, does innovation grind to a
halt when prototypes stop being built. When the muse fails you, don't mope
at your desk. Make something."
"I just prototype a bad idea and maybe shoot
the hell out of it," says one of IDEO's engineers. He'll often know it's not
the solution he wants, but if he prototypes it, he can shoot it down faster
and then find out what doesn't work or perhaps discover something new.
"Prototypes can be a source of creation and insurance. When all else fails,
prototype till you're silly."
The Jazz of Innovation:
11 Guiding Principles
Prototypes to Sell Your Ideas to Others
"Good prototypes don't just communicate – they
Tom Kelly.1 Prototypes beat words and pictures. If a picture is worth
a thousand words, then a good prototype is worth a thousand pictures. "It is
easy to reject a dry report or a flat drawing. But models often surprise,
making it easier to change your mind and accept new ideas. Or make hard
choices, such as forgoing costly and complex features. Give your management
team a report, and it's likely they won't be able to make a
crisp decision. But a prototype is almost like a spokesperson
for a particular point of view, crystallizing the group's feedback and
keeping the things moving."4
Structure of DNA
The Art of Innovation,
"I decided that no harm could come from
spending a few days building backbone models," said 1963 Nobel Prize winner
James Watson, referring to the metal prototypes he and fellow geneticist
Francis Crick used to model and test their hypotheses. "Perhaps a week of
solid fiddling with the molecular models would be necessary to make us
absolutely sure we had the right answer."
Although their academic colleagues were
skeptical of the approach, Watson and Crick's freethinking style and
openness to two-dimensional and three-dimensional prototyping helped guide
them toward the momentous discovery of the structure of DNA. Even Watson
sometimes wondered if he was floundering. "My doodling of the bases on paper
at first got nowhere. Not until the middle of the next week, however, did a
nontrivial idea emerge. It came while I was drawing the fused rings of
adenine on paper."
in Point New
Type of Vacuum Cleaner
The Leader's Guide To Lateral Thinking,
James Dyson is an Englishman who invented a new
type of vacuum cleaner involving a 'dual cyclone'. He built over 5000
prototypes as he battled to convince manufacturers and banks to back him.
Eventually he got the backing to develop his
produce the first production unit. Within two years his machine was the
market leader in the United Kingdom.