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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

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BreezeTree Software

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host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Feedback request on new product idea: facilitating change

I’d be very happy to get feedback on a new service idea about a free online service for "facilitating creating consensual change in companies, teams, enterprises".

My idea is to provide a minimal hyper simple web app for helping creating consensual change. This should be particularly helpful in large companies, where bringing change is harder. But it could also help any group agree on reforms. This is clearly inspired by Seth Godin’s writings.

I've created a mockup and presented it in a webcast:

Pietro Polsinelli Send private email
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
I think there's too much focus here on the tool and what buttons to push and data to enter than actually interacting with people.

The actual concept isn't clear - you do (I think) stress that  change is about people, but I think the video should reflect that more. The following may help:

A few years ago I attended a great 'innovations pull-through' course held by the IDEO people. Here they we able to teach us some of the fundamentals that they learnt through experience when working with their clients on developing and marketing  products.

One principle lesson was that, your audience will respond better, if you  concentrate on how people interact with a tool, rather than the details of the tool itself.

Tell a story, give an example of a change and very briefly explain (or preferably demonstrate) how the different people involved in change would interact with the tool to achieve the desired outcome, if you can persuade some friends to do a bit of role playing, all the better. A bit of light humour can help, but don't over do it:-)

This 'story-telling' really starts at the prototyping stage, but examples were given where the TV commercial chosen by the client for the final product release was very close to the demonstration given to the client during final prototyping.

Just a technical point on the video (I'm no expert on this): I find it almost impossible to interact with a tool whilst talking to camera. If you do need to do this type of demo, perhaps as a tutorial, you could try the following:

1. First do the tool screencast with no voice or camera.
2. Edit the screencast and add annotations as queues
3. Do the camera thing with voice whilst you play back the edited screencast, using the queues so you know what to say next.
4. Remove the annotations, add the camera and sound track and you're ready to go
Phil Fearon Send private email
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
If you do make this tool then I think that the central challenge lies in measuring change. Any tool that accelerates any process, must find ways to measure the process itself, so that it can be guided by parameters, or metrics to shift the equilibrium in just the right way.

I honestly do think that if you can work out this knotty problem, then you will have an amazing product which could change the way people work.
Genevieve Traylor Send private email
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
@Phil Fearon: "concentrate on how people interact with a tool, rather than the details of the tool itself." -> great suggestion, I will repeat it as a mantra before recording the presentation webcast.

@Genevieve Traylor: the service is focused on discussing and deciding to change, not on the change implementation - which is an interesting problem by itself and on which I don't have clear ideas for the moment. Thanks for your remarks.
Pietro Polsinelli Send private email
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Did you see the post earlier for Trello?  I would say you need a video like that to really generate interest and good feedback.  Something that gives an example/tutorial and how it would work with that specific change.  You will keep users attention longer and generate more interest.  Plus I think all of us can agree that seeing an example helps us in applying to the concept/app to what we would use it for.  The video generates the interest.
Joni Send private email
Thursday, September 22, 2011
I thought they really should have had the better looking partner do the Trello vid.

But then I remembered Joel is a king.

Bring back anon Send private email
Thursday, September 22, 2011
@ioni Yes I have to articulate an example.

The Trello video is nice, but to follow that style requires the mockup (or the app) to be more functional, to show details of how users to use the service - will do.

Trello also has a pretty girl commenting in the end which is a nice addition - I could try to imitate it as I already did once  http://twitpic.com/14rv29  - but...
Pietro Polsinelli Send private email
Friday, September 23, 2011

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