Getting Started

Getting started doing something is usually fifty percent of the battle. It’s hard to start. It’s such a common problem that it goes by many names: Student’s Syndrom; Analysis Paralysis; deferment; procrastination.

Take this blog, for instance: how do I start off the first post of the new blog; how do I say “hello world” without losing you, the reader, in the first sentence? Do I create a striking manifesto? Do I just jump right in, without providing any orientation?

So, how to start? Start where you’re comfortable. Start in the middle. Or the end. Start whereever you can. Just so long as you get started. Once you get going and have a little momentum, it’s relatively easy to shift gears and start doing it “right.”

It’s true for this blog, and it’s true for product development. There’s a high value on doing things right, especially when there are consequences for failure, but you’ll never get it right if you don’t first start. So get going.

In some later post, I’ll contradict myself by admonishing you to not start too early, but we have plenty of time to get there. Along the way, I’ll be writing about managing products and about product development. My focus will be on taking a systemic approach to the innovation “value chain,” that is: integrating all the steps from first concept through successful commercialization. I’ll write about how to develop the right products and avoid developing the wrong ones, about how to manage product development and how product development differs from other kinds of projects. I hope to create a dialog not just on how to design mechanisms but on how to create successful products. Since product development does not happen in a vacuum, but is part of the broader social and technical context, I’ll throw in other items of interest at times.

I hope to entertain and inform, and most of all to get you thinking.