These guys really are the Penn and Teller of agile software development, and I thought the session was excellent. Most of us here have been trying to work in agile ways for five years or more but this was an opportunity to get better at it by broadening our knowledge and understanding. Another post follows containing some more considered takeaways, but I wanted to share these sketch-notes I made during the day. They petered out towards the end of the day as proceedings became more discursive.
There are 10 pages in total, including a ‘page of evil’ where I tried to capture all of the things that we decided one way or another were EVIL.
At the start of this month I suggested that Rolling Stone’s McChrystal expose was the story of the year. I was wrong. Whistleblowing website Wikileaks’s release of more than 75,000 classified military documents — collectively referred to as the Afghanistan war logs — is now the story everyone is talking about, and it is unlikely this will change anytime soon.
A security breach/freeing of information (as you like) such as this is pretty much unprecedented, although many are comparing it to the 1971 publication of the Pentagon Papers (including DanielEllsberg, the man behind that leak).
Just as with the Pentagon Papers, the leak and the subsequent publication of previously classified information are just part of a complex knot of stories. Who leaked this? What do we make of what we read? What next for Afghanistan, for the US military and indeed for ISAF as a whole? — these are only the immediate questions.
We’re working on a side project, the details of which can wait for another post, and the very nature of it has prompted us to devise new methods for team collaboration.
Without giving too much away (I’m a bit over-excited and secretive about it) the service we’re designing consists of two parts: a website and an iPhone app strung together with an API. There are dependencies between each part of the service. Things that happen on the iPhone app need to be reflected on the site and vice versa. There are other nuances but at that’s the core of it, a simultaneous broadcast / receive from app to site and back.
Foursquare is huge, check-ins are big, but I wouldn’t play that game or use that service. Whilst the idea is sound and people will still use the service, I find the concept of what the network looks like to FourSquare so much more interesting. When I check-in on Foursquare, what does that look like? And how does the map of London, for example, change during the day as people check in and drop offline.
Given that a lot of people are not going to use Foursquare because each contact with the network compromises their privacy and reveals more and more information about them, I think there’s a hard limit to how successful the idea can be. However, the opposite of foursquare, focussing on the shape of the network rather than the individuals connecting to it, removes that limit. Each time I check in, rather than just appending my +1 to a long list of identical entries, I disrupt the fabric of the network and make it better. I think a lot about the way “massively multiplayer” games are anything but, and flatter to deceive on the promise of joining a virtual, alternate world. Flipping the idea of Foursquare and looking at the network as a constantly evolving organism has a lot of potential for fun, games and stories, and that’s what I’m thinking about right now.
Papa Sangre, being a “video game with no video” is just the kind of obtuse idea that I like. Furthermore, it appears to be closing in on a public release, and having read a short preview of the game, I’m excited to see that there are ideas under the skin. Real ideas, too. Something that might make you wonder about more than just the social or playful dynamics. Ideas that are worth thinking about.
The games industry is incredible self-referential, to the point of obsessive cloning and stagnation, so it’s refreshing to see a game with a new approach, not just from the point of view of innovative games, but also in terms of immersive experiences. Listen to, if you will, the video below:
Service principles encapsulate the way a service creates, captures and sustains value for customers and shareholders.
They’re a useful benchmark in making decisions in unfamiliar territory, (eg. ‘‘Should we retain a proprietary or open service platform?’. ‘Does this process deliver value to the customer or simply make life easier for the business?’, ‘What limit should we place on advertising that interrupts the customer experience?).
This is a remade set of service principles we originally created for a client, a specialist financial newspaper behind a paywall (hence the first and second in the list, which we shouldn’t get too hung up about) and which we’ve since adapted quite heavily to work for a generic organisation we’ve called The Newspaper embarking on the treacherous journey from industrial to post-modern media.
Bud Caddell’s collaborative Kickstarter project has three days to go but his backers have more than doubled the initial target amount $5k. I just upped my contribution to $100 so that I can fully participate in the adventure.
I wrote about Foursquare recently, and thought it would be interesting to follow up, given the fact that the location-based service recently hit the 2 million users mark. So what’s happened since then in the location-based services world? Some key happenings:
So things are definitely hotting up. What’s next? Apart from the most obvious – more businesses signing up to services like Foursquare to get to know their customers better and encourage repeat business, here’s what I think: