When working in a team on a design or a vision, it’s pretty likely that lots and lots of assumptions will be made. They can be anthropological - “people will act as ambassadors”, “our users will share this” or “people will want to submit their stories, ideas, photos or limericks to our hub”. They can be economic – “This won’t cost much” or mechanical – “Yeah, of course our CMS can do that”.
Assumptions are seductive because they propel the project forward, they allow us to just bat away risk and move forward, like a juggernaut, unstoppable. They are exhilarating because it feels like you’re calling the shots, living on the edge or flying by the seat of your pants.
As I'm sure you'll have noticed by now, we're pretty cosily ensconced in the lean salon over here at Made by Many. Lean methods help us create awesome services that people want, but they also hit a nerve because they're all about continuous learning and we like nothing better than learning new things. So following on from Nicki's confessions of a lean virgin last week, I thought I'd share a few stories from our experiences of putting lean principles into practice.
Over the past few months we've been working closely with Skype to develop a service for teachers who use Skype in the classroom. Skype started this project after seeing teachers using Skype in innovative ways, for example to carry out cultural exchanges and bring experts into their classrooms.
Daniel Howells is a web designer, developer and founder of London-based web design and development agency kulör as well as founder/curator at siteInspire. He is also the person behind the rather useful calendar for design events, Creative Everyone. I thought it would be interesting to ask him a few questions about design - a subject he is clearly very passionate about. Here's what he had to say:
The conventional wisdom is that Google will be or is the big challenger to Apple in the mobile computing market, but it turns out that we've been digging in the wrong place all this time. The way I see it, the real competition is going to come from Amazon.
Recent announcements from Amazon make me more certain than ever that they will shortly be launching a Kindle-branded phone and tablet based on Android.
We’re on the hunt for a thoughtful, articulate copywriter to join us at the Wharf.
Background-wise, we’re looking for someone who has been writing and editing for three to five years: this is a job for a professional writer, not an aspiring wordsmith. Digital copywriting experience is critical.
In terms of personality, we're looking for someone who is brave, challenging and pragmatic. You've got to be easy to work with, but also fiendishly dedicated to making smart, exciting things out of the Internet.
OK, so we go on and on about lean startups here at Made by Many. And while it is indeed pretty tasty Kool-Aid, we're primarily obsessed with it because it's helping us deliver some great services that people actually want.
So what happens when a bright-eyed, fresh-faced MxMer joins the team having responded to a contract position asking for "curious" people?
Well, we start the indoctrination. So if you're a relative newcomer to lean startup movement, read on to see how Nicki Sprinz (@sprinzette) handled being thrown into the 'lean end'.