February 17, 2010

Where’s my instruction manual?

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Okay, so this is how it works.  Until it doesn’t.  Then, this is how it works.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Put on your wet clothes and run around outside.  See what freezes.  Trample around in the mud.  See what stains.  Play tag with your friends.  Ask what was the most fun.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

That’s product development.

I’m trying to create something and figure out the best way to go about creating it at the same time.  Luckily, there’s a handy manual here that I can fall back on if I don’t know what to do next.  Let’s see what it says…

“Open the washer lid.  Put in your clothes.  Add soap.  Close the lid….”

Hang on.  Wrong manual.  Or is it?

This is not as frustrating for me as it is for those I’m working with.  I’m pretty comfortable with the idea of making it up as I go along.  The disconnect comes when working with people who are more comfortable with certainties.

When I ask someone to have faith in me, I’ve got nothing outside myself to back that up.  I don’t know of any case histories to support the potential successes or pitfalls of creating something new.  They’re out there, I’m sure.  I just don’t know the titles.

Do I really want one, though?  Or am I more interested in having something handy to point to when someone asks me, “but how do you know that will work?”

The truth is, that I don’t know if something will work.  The truth also is, that I believe it will.  Like so many loaded words, “believe’ has a ton of content.  It means that I’ve got lots of experiences that have led to the belief.  I’m the queen of self observation and evaluation.  I have some tricks and some skills.  I’ve learned how to roll with it.  I’ve been places that I can look back on and say, “well, that didn’t kill me.”

Who’s on for the ride?

Significantly,

Susan Scot Fry

Update….

What a slogging ride it was, too.  It was a day of beating my head against the wall in frustration and dead ends.  Of course, there are no breakthroughs without plodding, plodding, plodding…

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