Ordinary steps

A theme that seemed to run through Reboot7 was the advocacy of taking small steps over theorising. David Heinemeier Hansson, who built web application Ruby on Rails, stressed the advantage of getting something basic up and running fast. In a presentation on The Skype Brand, Malthe Sigurdsson talked about getting out frequent, small revisions.

Pretty closely related was the idea of ordinariness and “good enough” solutions. David Weinberger championed “good enough” knowledge classifications; Skype favoured simple language (“Talk” not “VOIP”).

Both these are central concepts in Improv – it’s good to advance the action; and it usually works much better to say the obvious, ordinary thing, instead of trying too hard to come up with a brilliant one-liner. It was good to hear this backed up by the experience of some of these impressive innovators.

[UPDATE: Scoble has more to say on this]

5 thoughts on “Ordinary steps

  1. participo

    Reboot themes…

    To be honest, I’m a bit spannered after Basecamp workshop and Reboot, and trying to decompress my thoughts isn’t that easy – but luckily I don’t have to, as there’s a ton of notes and reflections out there. Johnnie Moore…

    Reply
  2. Johnnie Moore

    Interesting to read that people who do innovate agree with some of the (somewhat turgid) theory around innovation i.e. you need to get it out there and make improvements as you go along.

    The improv ideas keep making more and more sense to me. Have you blogged about a good introduction to improv somewhere?

    (I just mistyped that improve by the way – Freudian or what?)

    —–

    Hi Paul: I’m glad you find improv growing on you, it’s certainly had that effect on me. I’m emailing you my chapter for the More Space book – in it I talk more about improv. (Anyone else who’d like to see it, add a comment or email me).

    Reply
  3. Broadband and Me

    Why this is Betaroad.com

    Johnnie identifies a theme that is very close to my heart from Reboot 7 …the advocacy of taking small steps over theorising. David Heinemeier Hansson, who built web application Ruby on Rails, stressed the advantage of getting something basic up…

    Reply
  4. Ho John Lee's Weblog

    Small steps versus theorizing, Reboot7

    Lot of interesting posts and presentations coming from last week’s Reboot7 conference in Copenhagen. The attendees are predominantly involved with new internet applications such as blogging, tagging, peer-to-peer, voice over IP, social software…

    Reply
  5. Adrian Trenholm

    Skype is better than “good enough”

    Catching up on Blog reading I came across another from [Johnnie, on Reboot7][1], that’s worth comment:
    > Pretty closely related was the idea of ordinariness and “good enough” solutions. David Weinberger championed “good enough” knowledge classificat…

    Reply

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