Monday, September 17, 2012

Review: Making The World of Software Engineering More Creative by Josh Linkner


  • Creativity Crisis: My daughter was asked to draw a bear in school, and she draw a purple and funky bear, and the teacher says, "that's not what bears look like, go back and redo it". Lesson learned: Don’t take risks, don’t try something new, don’t do something interesting, just do the bare minimum
  • Uglydolls: toy of the year 2007. Disconnection: we teach people to draw normal bear, yet we reward people who design funny bear. Lesson learned: Doing exactly the opposite is what allows us to reach our true potential.
  • Fear: the number one blocker of creativity. You say like, "well what will my boss say? Will I look foolish, whose going to fund this idea? If it was such a good idea somebody else probably would have already said it. If this project goes forward and I’m responsible for it and I screw it up what does that mean to my career?"
  • Creativity as a muscle, where it could be trained through exercised
  • Jazz: 1% of the notes are on the written page and the rest of it you make it up as you go; spontaneous innovation.It’s not that jazz musicians were born more creative it’s that the culture they’ve built enables that creativity.
  • Creativity isn’t only being Steve Jobs and inventing iPod or disrupting an entire field, creativity in the little everyday things can become transformative. How do you conduct your Monday morning meetings? How close is the printer? Can you save a couple of steps? How are you handling quality control? Creativity applied on an everyday basis again can be transformational.
  • Show a random picture, and ask people what is the picture about. We start to make things up.
  • Curiosity is one the key building blocks of creativity. Ask these three simple questions again and again and again. Why, what if and why not? 
    • Example: Why do socks have to be boring? What if socks were colorful and fun and expressive? Why do socks match? Why do socks come in pairs of two you always lose one and that’s annoying?
    • Solution: Little Mismatched, fun and colorful and expressive. You can’t buy a pair of socks that match. They are color coordinated but they don’t match. In fact you can’t even buy a pair at all because they come in sets of 3 or 5
  • Toyota called the ‘5 Why’s’: like the children keep asking why and why, no matter what answer you put up. 
  • Where’s Waldo: You notice everything. All these things you wouldn’t ordinarily see.
  • I looked at the market conditions of the day it was because I aimed at something in the future (no websites back then, now almost every company have one)
  • Facebook isn’t doing this at all and so we are going to win: by the time you complete the product 12 months down the road, Facebook might be doing that as well.
  • Aim at something in the future, use your creativity and innovation to think what’s about to happen not just what’s happening today.
  • Dyson vacuum cleaner: 5100 times of failure. Failure isn’t fatal; instead mistakes are simply the portals of discovery.
    • We are so worried about playing it safe only to learn that playing it safe has become the riskiest move of all.
    • Video: from failure you learn, keep moving forward
    • Sharply criticizing somebody who comes up with a little spark of an idea or letting him go and run and take a couple of risks along the way?
  • Celebrate the failure of the year.
    • Get out of jail free cards: They say take these cards go on a limb be creative and if you really screw something up hand us one of these cards, you’re off the hook no questions asked.
  • Tradition: blindly saluting the flag of the past. Great in the family, deadly in business.
    • Against Tradition: carve the Haloween pumpkin from the bottom: all the goop just plops right out (use gravity), light candle from bottom (no burn) and carry it around with the natural handle on top
  • Pike Syndrome: an imaginary barrier is getting in the way of progress.
    • I don’t have enough resources, I didn’t finalize my (?) my code isn’t tight enough, I’m too tall, I’m too short, too old, too young, I didn’t go to the right school, I didn’t have the right connections.
  • Role Storming: pretend to be someone, and give ideas based on that persona. Pretend to be Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Charlie Sheen, etc.

1 comment:

Maxwell Sander said...

You actually don't to be expensive when it comes to being creative in software. There are a lot of ways t become cheaper. Thanks for the videos by the way.