I just read this book, and it was good. Not quite 5-stars good, but a good book nonetheless. A couple of chapters definitely stand out. The P&G analysis is fantastic, while the RIM introspection is hilarious. To be fair, it’s only funny because RIM stopped doing what the book is praising them for.
Here are a some of the notes I took (hopefully I don’t break copyright):
The minute you start analyzing and using consumer research, you drive all the creativity out of the product.
No good product was ever created from quantitative market research. Great products spring from the heart and soul of a great designer, unencumbered by committees, processes, or analyses.
Even as corporate leaders chase the vital, elusive spark of creativity, their organizations structures, processes, and norms extinguish it wherever it flares up.
Once knowledge has been pushed to a logical, arithmetic, or computational procedure, it can be reduced to software.
In most large business organizations, three forces converge to enshrine reliability and marginalize validity: the demand that an idea be proved before it is implemented, an aversion to bias, and the constraints of time.
An organization that engages exclusively in exploitation will ordinarily suffer from obsolescence.
Of the original Fortune 100 companies, published in 1955, only eleven are still on the list.
When a team can come together around a creative cause or a knotty problem, they want to come to work every day.
Laliberté (founder of Cirque du Soleil) had done no research to forecast the size of the market for his new form of circus. How could he? The market did not yet exist.
It’s true. The Android developer community in Wellington is strong and mature, if tonight’s first Android Meetup is anything to go by.
Android Meetup Attendees
Just over 30 people took part in the first (of hopefully many more to come) Meetup that I was proud to facilitate and host together with the rest of the Trade Me Mobile team at our Market Lane office. We will try to make sure this becomes a regular event, especially now that the GDG Wellington was created.
The turn out was fantastic (we had to supplement the available slots at the last-minute). The show of hands confirmed that the majority of attendees were developers but we also had designers, testers and business folk. This diversity definitely helped during the Q&A sessions…
The theme of the evening was Material Design and the agenda was simple. I gave a quick intro, then we kicked off properly with a presentation by Matthew Shearer (our Lead Android developer) about the challenges that we face at Trade Me when tacking Material Design in our app, followed by an interesting Q&A, then the spotlight was given to Glenn Parker (Xero) who showed off a few ideas/early mocks for their product. Other people in the room mentioned that Material Design was high up on their TODO list but they just haven’t gotten around to it.
The evening continued with food and drinks followed by an open discussion around the future of this group.
Where to from here?
We are very keen for this event to not be owned by one organisation. Instead, we’ll aim to put in place a roster so that other teams around town can host it and offer more diversity not just in terms of venues but also in terms of hours. We even floated the idea of doing it over lunch sometime to cater for those with young kids or who have engagements in the evenings…
As expected, the attendees behaved really well and communicated freely. There was no awkward job/hiring talk, nor any immature comments of any kind.
Toward the end of the event we brainstormed a few ideas for future sessions. We’ll vote on the group and we will decide what we will talk about next time (late January or early February). As this picture shows, people found the event valuable for the time they invested (2 hours) so I will call it a success!
Despite being a collection of “Rands in Repose” posts, this book is surprisingly readable. I can definitely see how a senior developer, an HR manager, and a team Leader (uppercase “L” is not a typo) would benefit from skimming this book over one weekend.
Bonus: You can learn a couple of social games while reading this book: Werewolf, and Back Alley Bridge.