How to do lean startup: Sharing user feedback & release notes with your team

At Britely we aim to follow a lean startup approach of talking to users before, during, and after building every part of our product. A common challenge in startups though is that everybody is so busy building that very few people actually “get out of the building” and talk to users. So how can you get your team on the same page?

Continue reading “How to do lean startup: Sharing user feedback & release notes with your team”

Mac Software & Workflow Tools for Academics, Writers, and other Procrastinators

This morning I sat stuck in the London Underground for about 90 minutes. I was listening to the Mac Power User Podcast – their “workflows” podcasts are great. Anyway, it got me thinking about the tools that I’ve wasted hours on over the years. I jotted down a little list on my iPhone as I waited for my train to start moving again.  Here is that list. Continue reading “Mac Software & Workflow Tools for Academics, Writers, and other Procrastinators”

The Measurement of Design (and Other Squishy Concepts), or, Why Designers Need Scholars

What do academics do that designers don’t? And why should designers care?Hanging rulers, taken by Unhindered by Talent  (Flickr)

These were some of the challenging questions asked at the Design & the Creative Industries: Working Together with Universities conference last Friday in Brighton. As a scholar and teacher, I was feeling rather unappreciated (and frankly over-valued by society, relative to all of Those Who Can Do so Don’t Teach I was surrounded by in the audience).

I was forced to grapple with the value of my own line of work. This is what I came up with: Scholars are good at certain things that designers and artists need, and vice versa. Continue reading “The Measurement of Design (and Other Squishy Concepts), or, Why Designers Need Scholars”

Open Notebook Science & Sharing the Messy Process of Creating

In searching for motivations / reasons / justifications for writing and sharing more freely, I’ve stumbled upon the idea of Open Notebook Science, a practice of the Open Research community and inspired by open-source programming and open innovation.  The Wikipedia entry explains,

The term Open Notebook Science was first used in a blog post by Jean-Claude Bradley, an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Drexel University. Bradley described Open Notebook Science as follows

… there is a URL to a laboratory notebook that is freely available and indexed on common search engines. It does not necessarily have to look like a paper notebook but it is essential that all of the information available to the researchers to make their conclusions is equally available to the rest of the world
Jean-Claude Bradley

From a creativity standpoint, I like the idea that ideas get better by making the process transparent.  So many research projects and creative works don’t ever make it to print (or screen, or stage, or gallery…) but it’s ridiculous to think that nothing could be learned from seeing them. So why don’t we share all of our projects – done, undone, and wish I’d never done?

The problem is that the dirty laundry of one’s
failed or unfinished work is so much less fun to share than their neat and tidy Perfect Pieces.  More painful, more tedious, more revealing.

Good news is that we don’t know what projects are going to fail while we’re working on them.  They are still exciting and new – until they start going sour.  So to encourage the sharing of failures (important, because how can we learn if we don’t see failures?) we should encourage the sharing of PROGRESS and PROCESS.

The mess of the in-between is still beautifully optimistic and glittery with fresh enthusiasm.

To inspire you to share here are some photos of my messy work from before I really could call my dissertation a dissertation.

Open Research Notebook, 4 years apart (1)Open Research Notebook, 4 years apart (2)Open Research Notebook, 4 years apart (3)Open Research Notebook, 4 years apart (4)Open Research Notebook, 4 years apart (5)

The messy notebooks of artists, writers, and scientists have always been my favorite part of the world of academia.  It’s fair to say that I would never have joined the academic world if it weren’t such a perfect setting for scribbling quickly in my Moleskine(s).  (And it’s Awesome how when I trace back through old notebooks, I see that on those late and confused nights I was actually onto something that eventually became real.)

The Blank Page: Effects of Constraint on Creativity

I finished my doctoral dissertation in December.  I am proud to announce that I am now officially “Dr. Caneel Joyce” and owner of the letters P, h, and D.   Thank you, U.C. Berkeley.  Thank you, Haas School of Business.  Thank you friends, advisors, Mom, Dad, brother, and especially, husband.

The dissertation is of course, very academic in style.  I will write up some of the main ideas in future blog posts.  In the meantime, I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts.  The abstract is below and you can download the full text PDF. Continue reading “The Blank Page: Effects of Constraint on Creativity”