Making is giving concrete form to ideas in order to explore possibilities, communicate ideas, prototype concepts, and drive real-world outcomes.
Give concrete form to abstract ideas
We all get caught in “analysis paralysis” sometimes. It’s tempting to put off making because we aren’t confident we have enough understanding. Sometimes we’re just afraid to share ideas before they’re fully baked. Some of us are conditioned to save making for last.
But at the end of the day, the only way to see an outcome is to make one. Making gives form to abstract ideas, giving you the chance to try out new ideas and see them take effect in the real world. The earlier you make, the faster you learn. Summon the curiosity to try out unexplored ideas. Have the audacity to put your ideas into the world. You might be wrong––and there’s nothing wrong with that.
When you go to make, ask others to participate and build on your ideas together. Collaborating with your team members is often where your best ideas are born.
Don’t wait until an idea is perfect—it won’t happen. Think with your hands to uncover new ideas in real time. Find out what works and what doesn’t. Take advantage of happy accidents. When you’ve run out of ideas, invite others to respond, remix, and transform what you’ve made. You never know what you might learn from others.
Are we seeing the same thing? A picture is worth a thousand words, so don’t tell people your idea; show them. Get your ideas across by making something that expresses your intent. Come up with your story and show them why it matters.
Prototypes are experiments that help to validate or invalidate your hypotheses and assumptions. Although it’s helpful to think of everything you make as a prototype, low-fidelity prototypes can help simulate ideas and test hypotheses quickly and cheaply. No need to make it perfect––just make it appropriate for the feedback you need.
Once you’ve committed to an idea, turn your intent into an outcome. You don’t need to know everything to get moving. Listen, learn, and course-correct as you work out the details. Remember: everything is a prototype––even in-market solutions. Fail early and learn fast.
Consider these questions
If you don’t know where or how to start, consider the answers to these questions. If you come across a question you haven’t explored, stop talking and start making.
- What could we make?
- What ideas can we combine?
- How else might we make it?
What’s the story?
- What’s our big idea?
- What’s the intended outcome?
- How do we show it to others?
What’s the concept?
- What is its form?
- What are its parts?
- How do the parts relate?
How do we deliver?
- How do we build it?
- How do we deploy it?
- How do we maintain it?