I hate wasting time and I often have the unrealistic expectation that processes should be efficient. It’s easy to think that prototyping is a waste of time and inefficient, but it’s not.
Here’s an interesting quote of a quote from page 71 of Die Empty.
Tom Kelley, general manager of IDEO, described the benefits of the prototyping process in his book, The Art of Innovation. He writes, “Prototyping is a problem solving. It’s a culture and a language. You can prototype just about anything — a new product or service, or a special promotion. What counts is moving the ball forward, achieving some part of your goal. Not wasting time.” In other words, prototyping allows you to make progress before you even know what progress should look like. He continues, “Prototyping doesn’t just solve straightforward problems. Call it serendipity or even luck, but once you start drawing or making things, you open up new possibilities of discovery. It’s the same method that’s helped scientists unlock some of the greatest secrets of nature.”
One challenge I find with prototyping is that it’s not a natural inclination when I’m under pressure to finish or don’t have any time to spare. Sometimes a shortcut to prototyping is creating lists of ideas or solutions (no matter how wacky they might be) to a particular problem.
In Choose Yourself by James Altucher, Altucher is all about generating lists and strengthening the idea muscle in our brains. For $0.99, even if you don’t like Altucher’s writing style or believe some of his stories, there are tons of good take-aways and encouragement to be found in this 276 page book.
Could it be that if we are intentional with our time it is not possible to waste it? By intentional I mean, setting out intentionally in a particular direction versus scrolling twitter, news sites and daily bargains websites. And setting out in a particular direction is often a prototype.