Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Technology 1: Humans 1

There was a piece in yesterday’s FT that caught my eye.  Adidas were claiming 3D printers had dramatically reduced prototyping time.  Before = 12 people to create a prototype, Now = only two.  Before = up to six weeks to evaluate a prototype, Now = just one to two days!  So, hooray for technology.  These are impressive statistics but it’s not the speed of a single round of prototyping that’s the issue – the big win is how many more iterations you can pack into the development process.  Ironically technology has made the interaction between human beings even more relevant.  It takes guts and a big dose of humility to manage an iterative development process.  Admitting you didn’t get it right first time, leaning in and listening to your colleagues’ interpretation of results – maybe more junior colleagues at that – these are the prerequisites of an experimental approach to ‘making new stuff.’ 

Want a blow-by-blow account of how to become a virtuoso experimenter?  Read Chapter Three of my book ‘The Science of Serendipity: How to Unlock the Promise Of Innovation In Large Organisations.’ 

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