YES! AND… Creative Gorilla # 90
When you need to meet a customer’s need quickly, there’s a lot to be said for a prototype…
“I love these emails. I would really love them if you did podcasts”
A Creative Gorilla reader, in an e-mail.
Are you prototyping yet?
The above quotation popped in to my e-mail box at the beginning of the month. Should I do a Podcast? I mulled over it for a week or so. “Nobody would want to listen,” “My voice sounds terrible on recordings,” “I haven’t got a clue how to do a podcast.”
Oh yes, I had a fine list of excuses not to do it, but one day, with an hour to spare, I took the plunge, just because someone had asked for it.
I researched software programmes for recording podcasts which took just fifteen minutes on the web, thanks to a handy review. I selected Propaganda because it was rated as simple, functional and good value. Downloading it direct from the US took ten minutes, a Visa Card and a willingness to invest USD 49.
I have a microphone so plugged it in, looked at the tutorial (highly unusual for a man, that) and set to work recording.
I was in need of silence. Cue calls from my wife, questions from my children and a loud presenter on kids TV. I ended up in the bedroom. Peace! I began recording and a neighbour set off loud fireworks. Not the best creative climate, but all creativity has its obstacles.
Eventually, I completed recording and played it back. “Er, umm, ahh,” smacking of the lips. It was all there, but with the very simple editing function, I erased it all and found myself really enjoying the whole process.
It took me a while to work out how to publish as the three step method in the software didn’t work but eventually, it published and I am now a podcaster!
Is it perfect? No. But as a model to demonstrate to myself the effort required and to others what the “product” is like, it works fine. It’s a prototype.
You might like to listen to it now by visiting www.yesand.eu Learn With Us. Click on the button next to the (misspelt) title to listen.!
Prototyping is probably too serious a word for what I have done. A quick and dirty test is probably a better description. Nevertheless, it achieved what I wanted; it produced a usable model quickly, at low cost with minimal effort. I learned some useful lessons and it gave me the confidence to try further experiments.
Isn’t that what we need in organisations today?
Listening to a discussion between two managers this week, it is clear that quick (or rapid) prototyping is the future for meeting customer requirements in a cost effective way.
If you would like to understand more about the techie version of prototyping see here.
If you prefer a little less techie speak, take a look at this easy to read article that takes prototyping right back to the pen and paper age.
Try out quick prototyping for yourself. As a way to encourage staff to do it, you might give them the challenge of developing a Podcast or Videocast as an exercise. Get them to use it to publicise a product internally. In this way, you’ll be demonstrating practical creativity and enriching learning.
I just downloaded my Podcast to iTunes. OK, so Podcasting is not a new technology but I can’t tell you how great it feels to see it next to the BBC’s Friday Night Comedy Show in my library.
I just realised though that as well as getting some music for the audio, I now have to design some artwork as an “album cover”. This proves that creativity is a never ending process and thank goodness for that!
John Brooker I Facilitate, Innovate, Transform.
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