90 Use Prototypes to Innovate…

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.

Use prototypes to innovate

“Prototype for a jump jet?

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.

To Close

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.

Read: www.yesand.eu

Call: +44 (0)2 08 8869 9990

To sign up for our regular Gorilla articles, please go to Contact Us