When worlds collide bad things don’t always happen. The Easter gathering of Agile Yorkshire was another capacity crowd for the Round Foundry conference room.
Fifty people devoured the buffet then sat captivated, sketched creatively and interacted with peers during Ryan Haney’s passionate pitch for the “unequivocal value of style”. How, when engineers and designers really work together, the results can be outstanding.
Ryan asserted that its possible for anyone to develop their own creative and artistic proficiency with practice and iteration just like any other product development activity. To proved it a round of one-shot Pictionary, as described by @DaveCTurner, followed. With much regalement and index card sketching, attendees crossed the room in a test of visual communication.
Ryan finished off with a deconstruction of software UX and Dieter Rams design values, plus a story of the iterative effort poured into a Broadway musical poster. The later an affirmation of the sweat, time and hard work behind all truly creative or artistic output.
Phil Rice filled the half hour speaking slot with a run through of the Lean Startup approach to company building, bravely contrasting it to some of his past business experiences. While he fondly remembered the security of VC investment he also reflected on the pain experienced by discovering, late in the product cycle, that some customer assumptions had been just that - assumptions.
Phil explained how Lean Startup ideas focus on measuring actual customer behaviour and designing product experiments with as little investment as possible. Relying only on actual data and with an ever ready ability to “pivot” away from the unsuccessful, startup survival odds can significantly increase. With regular small releases, a startup can minimise losses and focus investment only on things that are driving growth.
Phil talked of his experiences to date with his own Lean Startup. Stepping through his early assumptions and customer discovery efforts. He went on to outline current plans to execute his first pivot and continue on his journey of growth. Good luck Phil.
The meeting was rounded off with the prize draw for with books and software licenses provided by some of our sponsors O'Reilly and JetBRAINS. Overall the meeting was another resounding success with thanks going to Grant Crofton (@relentlessdev), Alex Fleming (@afnw35342) and Neil McLaughlin (@neilbmclaughlin) for generously donating their time to help with the organisation.