Can Prototyping Help You Experiment With New Ideas?

Do you occasionally use innovation in your business? Do you first test your ideas before full-scale rollout?

In his book, The Art of Innovation, Tom Kelly writes:

“Quick prototyping is about acting before you have the answers, about taking chances, stumbling a little, but then making it right.

Prototyping is problem-solving. It’s a culture and a language. You can prototype just about anything — a new product or service or a special promotion. What counts is moving the ball forward, achieving some part of your goal.

Prototyping is the shorthand of innovation.”

With these thoughts in mind, consider these ideas for prototyping utilization:

Have a bias for action. Move to experiment with your best ideas as soon as possible. The mere process of actualizing will create more ideas and thinking about solutions.

Iterate often. Create short feedback loops — don’t go too long without experimenting / testing the concepts on others (including real customers).

Expect your design to change. It is unlikely that the first prototype will be what you end up with at the end.

Shoot the bad ideas first. Study the things you know won’t work, as it will help you understand why they don’t work and what some better alternatives might be.

Use lots of media. Implement the prototype in many different media — drawings, graphics, foam; any means that will work quickly to get ideas of what may be most successful.

Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he writes about topics to help improve the performance of the small business. Find him on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Mike Schoultz writes about improving the performance of business. Bookmark his blog for stories and articles. www.digitalsparkmarketing.com