Musings on designing experiences & (re)engineering complexity

Dec 2018

Under Your Nose

Chances are you don’t need a design strategy to fix your product/market fit. The solution to your woes is likely under your nose already.

Within a few streams of technology and communication, there is a path of resistance when it comes to figuring out what might be the solution to fixing a product for greater market acceptance. The waves within those streams are rocks which might challenge the way in which water travels. Water, in this case meaning the way in which markets or organizational culture might flow. More often than not, what we might recognize about that issue is not what we have stated, but what was said in the context.

How then do we listen for what the context of an item might be saying? A few lenses can be gleaned from a few concurrent conversations:

X : Why is everything about mapping with you? Me : I guess I just like to look before leaping, shooting a rifle, committing troops to a battlefield etc. I do find that looking at an environment before making a decision is quite useful whether driving a car or government policy.

That comes from a Twitter thread by Simon Wardley. There’s much to this, but simply speaking, he talks about dealing with technical debit from the perspective of using a map versus putting each of the issues and opportunities into containers. There’s more to the thread; but, that requires navigating the stated content and the context.

Meanwhile, Farnam Street has a lengthy admonition towards battling (or aligning oneself with) entropy:

…Uncontrolled disorder increases over time. Energy disperses and systems dissolve into chaos. The more disordered something is, the more entropic we consider it. In short, we can define entropy as a measure of the disorder of the universe, on both a macro and a microscopic level. The Greek root of the word translates to “a turning towards transformation” — with that transformation being chaos. As you read this article, entropy is all around you. Cells within your body are dying and degrading, an employee or coworker is making a mistake, the floor is getting dusty, and the heat from your coffee is spreading out. Zoom out a little, and businesses are failing, crimes and revolutions are occurring, and relationships are ending. Zoom out a lot further and we see the entire universe marching towards a collapse…

These kinds of perspectives land simply in the question: “what are you offering?” As a venture, Avanceé is offering its clients efficiency and simplicity. Their processes, and the tools which are used within those processes, can be simplified, magnified, and some level of order/disorder tolerated so that there’s more clarity towards the defining goal. We craft solutions which might need to be changed in time, but not without empowering those who are managing that change the tooling necessary to adapt towards it.

But, if you didn’t engage Avanceé, how would you figure out these solutions? The easiest measure would be to simply say it out loud and hear yourself. Getting the issue/thought outside of your head and back into it via your ears will causes a resetting of the way its perceived. Will it enable you to better see than make the changes towards whatever that item is? Yes. But, only because at that point, you will have opened yourself to the realization that in order for the moment to change, the energy you need to be willing to put towards it is the first part of the map used by you and others to move on from it.