I am infatuated by how we augment our humanity through technologies and cultures.
The role technologies play in human history is fascinating. Today's pocket-sized marvels bounce the embers of our existence off satellites 20,000km+ away only to be picked up by others instantly, either on the other side of the world or sitting next to us in the same room. However, technology is more than the GUIs and bytes that fuel our modern world.
The technologies that have paved the way to where we are today are especially fascinating. A man presses a stick into clay and folklore begins to solidify into fact. Another carves a letter into a block of wood and knowledge is freed from its chains in the halls of God. Another creates a buttress with a chisel and sends stone clad symbols of dominance towering into the heavens.
What is truly fascinating is how these technologies are used as a means to inspire and motivate humanity: sometimes driving it forward to reach greater heights, sometimes in pulling it all down on top of themselves...or sometimes just to buy a Coke.
Regardless of the problem, the beginning is the same: a spark of curiosity -- a "what if?" What if it existed? What if we could do that? What if it could run better? What if it was easier to use? What if more people could see this? What if we could help?
From there it branches out like a tree: more questions to define a scope. Where are we now? How would we define where we want to be? What benchmarks would we use to tell us how we were doing? How would we get there? What resources would we need? What obstacles would we face? How much money? How much time would it take? What are the risks? What would the return be? What do the customers want? Would it be worth it?
Then through research, it becomes a plan. What can we learn from our past? What can we learn from others? How did it work for them? Where did they fail and why? What can we take from that and apply here? What can we do differently? What can we do better? What can we do faster? What can we do with fewer resources involved? How do we minimize the risks involved?
Now we try to tame it and create a process, a system to keep it organised and on track. Who are the stakeholders? Who are the decision makers? What are the deliverables? What is the best medium of communication for everyone? Can it be broken down into phases? How do we keep track of who is doing what, where and for how long? Would an existing system or pieces of a system like Kanban or Agile work with the team? What is our recovery plan if we start to fall behind?
Then we get stuff done. How are you doing? What can I do to help? Where are we in the process? What is left to do? Are things going to plan? Are they not? What have we come across we hadn't expected? Do we need to adapt? Are you now over-scheduled? Would restructuring tasks help? Where are we stuck? What minor victories can we celebrate and how?
Next, we prepare to launch. Can we pre-flight? What are our benchmarks for a beta? What feedback are we getting from focus groups? What issues are we having? What does QA say? What results came back from the A/B testing?
Then we set it free.
And then we watch. Did we crash it? What do the analytics say? How is the system doing? Why aren't people X? Why are people Z? What adjustments can we make? How are we meeting the scope? What does the next phase look like? Is it what we expected? What are the conversion rates? Do we keep moving forward? What did we learn we can apply to next time?
What if we try again? What if we make it bigger? What if we make it simpler? What if we can use fewer resources to run it? What if the messaging could be stronger? What if the UX could be better? What if we make it easier?
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