Insights

Wunderkammer #89

February 28, 2019

We’re thinking about

The three horizons model, defining product value, pairing experiments, and Beta Businesses


How the Beta Business model can help you build your business of tomorrow

8 mins | By James

Transformation is critical but it just isn’t enough. Businesses need another option.

As you might have heard already, we’ve been exploring a new model - the Beta Business - which we think helps with that other option. Through trying this model with clients who are launching new ventures we’ve been learning lots.

We’re keen to build, share and evolve it to help businesses shift to a new world, so I’ve put some of our thoughts down and would love to hear what you think.

Begin on a blank piece of paper

Defining value: the most ambiguous word in product development

4 mins | Source: Medium | Shared by Nick

Jeff Gothelf believes that if you are making your customers or users more successful then you are delivering value. If not, you’re just shipping “stuff”. Ever felt this way before?

Outcomes, not outputs

Research questions are not interview questions

4 mins | Source: Medium | Shared by Jess

I am constantly surprised by the number of people who think usability is the only kind of research you need. Or that customer panels equal ethnography. Or that during research people can accurately predict how likely they are to do something in the future. Read this article to help learn how to design research questions that account for the fact that humans are great at making things up.

Stop doing bad research

The cloud is crippling your data

4 mins | Source: Lennart Ziburski | Shared by Victor

A beautiful essay that explores how keeping our data and AI on‑device could be a really good thing. But what’s (arguably) even more interesting is how it’s presented. Like, it’s seriously lush.

Ooh shiny

Fast time in three horizon high

4 mins | Steve Blank | Shared by Nick

The three horizons model is a commonly used framework to structure and fund innovation inside large companies.

Steve Blank argues that time is not a useful way to frame this model anymore. Instead, people need to prioritise the present and the future at the same time.

3 2 1 grow

The friendship that made Google huge

18 mins | The New Yorker| Shared by Ieva

What happens when developers take collaboration to the next level? This is the story of Jeff Dean and Sanjay Ghemawat, two Google software engineers, who changed the course of the company, and, arguably, the internet, by writing code jointly.

Two heads are better than one

An introduction to experiment pairing

5 mins | Medium | Shared by Alex

Planning a phase of experiments is always easy before you start. But then you find something out. Knowing how and where to pivot your exploration is super important. This is a nice slice of advice.

Join the dots

Innovation isn’t all fun and games — creativity needs discipline

22 mins | Harvard Business Review | Shared by Jess

Lots of ‘fun’ and likable behaviours have been associated with innovative cultures but the truth is that success requires disciplined experimentation, hard work, fast learning, resilience and high standards. At the same time, allowing people to fail (not to be confused by incompetence) plays a huge role in creativity and innovation.

Don’t get sloppy

The biggest mistakes copywriters and designers make when collaborating

6 mins | Invision | Shared by Mindy

It’s surprising to realize that the relationship between copywriters and designers sometimes seems so parallel. Any design in the UX/UI field has words. Now with audio assistance emerging, creating conversational copy is essential. Designers and copywriters don’t seem to know who goes first in the design process.

If you were to take a look at really inspiring design work, you could probably tell that these two disciplines, researched together, sat together, sketched together and the designers also wrote copy with the copywriters providing a narrative structure to a designer.

How to work together

What we’ve been up to

In London, Jess shared her thoughts of something many of us have seen or experienced, but talk about too little - what it’s like to take a career break to bring up children, and what it’s like to come back.

Alex and Jack went to Berlin’s Lean Startup Summit and shared their 9 key takeaways - including why we’ve reached peak framework.

In Austin, Debra and Stephanie wrote about the impending revolution in mobility.

In Paris, we hosted a Design Systems Summit - and had a full house! Watch this space for videos of the talks given by design leaders from AXA, Crédit Agricole and SNCF.

And if you’ve missed it, we took over London underground to talk about Beta Businesses 🚀

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