Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Whiteboard Animations – Great Method to Explain Concepts

Friday, May 28th, 2010

I’m a huge fan of whiteboards and an even bigger fan of using whiteboards to make concepts accessible and clear.  I saw today on both Robert Scoble’s and Brad Feld’s blogs a video explaining incentives using whiteboard animations.  RSA Animate is a series of videos that you can find on YouTube that take various subjects and show a video of someone drawing out the concepts on a whiteboard while the author narrates.  In the video below, you’ll hear Dan Pink, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, talk about why money isn’t a great motivator for cognitive tasks.  While you hear him explain the science and studies behind the argument for 11.5 minutes, an artist is whiteboarding everything he says in a clear manner.  He even mentions how valuable Hackathons are.  I encourage you to check out the video:


Is Innovation in Short Supply at Your Company? Hold a Hackathon

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Often corporate directives and long-term roadmaps get in the way of creating and building innovative products that have the potential to give you a competitive advantage.  It can be difficult to justify bumping something proven, but ‘me-too,’ in the roadmap for a risky, unproven innovative feature.  So departments continue to execute on the roadmap, with low-priority differentiating features continually bumped down so that they never end up getting done.  A potential cure for this disease is to hold a Hackathon.

A Hackathon brings together employees from various departments to collaborate on building a demonstrable prototype on an idea discussed and fleshed out in the group.  Many times the entire event occurs in one day, so in the span of 9 hours teams are formed, ideas are brainstormed, and prototypes are built and demonstrated.  The idea is to get out of the box of the products you are currently working on and spark creativity by being forced to go very fast, utilizing the more intuitive part of your brain.  You also get to collaborate with employees that you may not normally work with, which may show you different perspectives or give you a glimpse of how some other departments see the products or the market space.  The end result is a demonstrable prototype of the idea, which may have a better chance of getting that product onto the roadmap than a powerpoint on the idea.  Or the product can be launched on its own as a minimum viable product to get customer feedback and iterate on it as necessary.  As a bonus, Hackathons are fun!


Friday, April 23rd, 2010

No posts the past few days because I’ve been sick with the flu.  I should start back up in the next few days and will extend the post every day challenge by the appropriate number of days.

It takes 30 Days to Form a New Habit

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

They say it takes roughly 30 days to form a new habit, due in part to myeliniation, so my goal is to write at least one post per day for the next 30 days.  I’ve got a good number of starts, so I’m confident I can meet my goal.  After 30 days, I’ll evaluate and likely scale back to a reasonable long-term posting rate.