Stay essential by treating everything as a prototype.
Solve old problems in new ways
Human needs fundamentally don’t change. The ways we address them do.
Consider this: we’re still improving the way we get from Point A to Point B. Yesterday’s horse-drawn carriage was a prototype for today’s automobile. Today’s automobile is just another prototype for tomorrow’s transportation breakthrough.
The problem is defined by a fundamental human need: getting from A to B. The solution at any point in time is situated in the constraints and affordances of the era: technological advancements, evolving resources, changing consumer expectations.
Being essential to your users and clients over time is about engaging in a continuous conversation with them through the solutions you offer. As you iterate on the next generation of offerings, stay true to the fundamental human need you’re solving, and stay in touch with the evolving context it inhabits.
Here’s the thing about restless reinvention: you’ll never feel done. There will always be a better solution just around the corner. If only you had a little more time. If only you had a few more resources. If only the technology was a little better.
But if you don’t commit to an idea, you risk missing your window of opportunity as the market evolves and your users’ lives move on. Without committing to an idea, there can be no outcome.
Recognize that from the perspective of your users, no solution is perfect. When you use IBM Design Thinking, your bias is toward action. You will pursue perfection with the humility of knowing that in the fullness of time, nothing is actually perfect. That is: everything is a prototype.