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Think Big, Start Small, Move Fast: Digital Strategy in a Changing World

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Keynote for MMEx digital strategy symposium, Randers, Denmark, August 2015. This presentation discusses the shortcomings of traditional strategy processes and suggests alternatives that emphasize speed, iteration, and a bias for action.

Think Big, Start Small, Move Fast: Digital Strategy in a Changing World

  1. 1. Think big, start small, move fast Digital Strategy in a Changing World
  2. 2. NASA HQ Photo CC-BY-NC https://flic.kr/p/adDe8D For Museum Making Experience Randers, Denmark August 24, 2015 Michael Peter Edson @mpedson
  3. 3. NASA HQ Photo CC-BY-NC https://flic.kr/p/adDe8D I love strategy, you need strategy, but strategy is overrated. Most strategies fail. Strategy is not as important as what you choose to work on, or how you choose to work. Let me explain…
  4. 4. NASA HQ Photo CC-BY-NC https://flic.kr/p/adDe8D “Virtually all major for-profit corporations, threatened with rapid technological change and mounting international competition, develop strategic plans.” Michael M. Kaiser Strategic Planning in the Arts , 1995
  5. 5. NASA HQ Photo CC-BY-NC https://flic.kr/p/adDe8D "An organization chart is not a company, nor a new strategy an automatic answer to corporate grief. We all know this; but like as not, when trouble lurks, we call for a new strategy and probably reorganize […] Eventually the old culture will prevail.” Tom Peters & Robert H. Waterman Jr. In Search of Excellence, 1982
  6. 6. NASA HQ Photo CC-BY-NC https://flic.kr/p/adDe8D “In real life, strategy is actually very straightforward. You pick a general direction and implement like hell.” Jack Welch, CEO of General Electric Winning, 2005
  7. 7. The basic precepts of strategy are compelling 1. The creation of a unique and valuable position involving a set of activities 2. Requires trade-offs and choices 3. Creates a “fit” among an org’s activities “Employees need guidance about how to deepen a strategic position rather than broaden or compromise it” via Michael E. Porter What is strategy? Harvard Business Review, 1996
  8. 8. Strategies often say beautiful & important things… But take a look at your favorite organization’s strategy and ask yourself… Values, mission, general direction…
  9. 9. Image: Public Domain: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horace_Trumbauer#/media/File:Philadephi Image: Joe Ravi, CC-BY-SA 3.0 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Field_Museum_of_Natural_Hi …Does the strategy really matter? If there were two similar organizations, one that had this strategy and one that didn’t, could you tell which was which based only on their actions, decisions, and behaviors? Does the strategy translate into action? Does the strategy make a real difference? ?
  10. 10. NASA HQ Photo CC-BY-NC https://flic.kr/p/adDe8D Strategy is overrated 1. Strategy is over-glamorized 2. Strategy is too inward-looking 3. Strategy is too slow 4. Strategy is too static 5. Strategy overlooks crucial activities 6. Strategy is incomplete 7. Strategy has the wrong audience 8. Strategy is dishonest 9. Strategy fails to inspire 10. Strategy almost never succeeds
  11. 11. 1. Strategy is over-glamorized Strategy, as a science, has tended to reflect a profit- oriented, academic, white, male, consultant-centric worldview biased towards large, sexy organizations Derived from Mike Licht, CC-BY https://flic.kr/p/rQKNa U
  12. 12. 2. Strategy is too inward-looking Not about the outside world, people, relationships. Your success entirely depends on things that happen outside your organization Derived from Mike Licht, CC-BY https://flic.kr/p/rQKNa U
  13. 13. 3. Strategy is too slow Strategies usually take too long to develop (usually, we’ll talk about that) Time More/ better/ a lot Less/ worse/ not much • The relevance of your problem • The relevance of your ideas • How much you care • How much everyone else cares • Your ability to motivate people, get things done, help Most strategy projects start here And end here
  14. 14. 4. Strategy is too static CC-BY-SA Lars Lundqvist https://flic.kr/p/rc4kc7 Three to five-year strategic plans are still common. This span of planning and execution may have been appropriate in the 20th century, but is too static and inflexible for today’s rate of change. Start of Now What you put in your plan is probably based on what you learned over the last 3 years of process and execution. Your plan is probably 3 years out- of-date the moment you start it Three years from now Your 3 year plan is probably six years out-of-date now, and whole technologies and social behaviors will have emerged and come to maturity since your plan was approved
  15. 15. Image: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Washing_Line,_Iceland.jpg Washing Line in Iceland CC-BY-SA 5. Strategy overlooks crucial activities Strategic thinking is often biased towards economic/profit models that don’t fully explain important human endeavors See Tim O’Reilly, The Closhesline Paradox https://plus.google.com/+TimOReilly/posts/bhKxn9NbJz1
  16. 16. 6. Strategy is incomplete Only partially explains how organizations succeed and fail Tim McFarlane CC-BY-NC-ND (modified) https://flic.kr/p/4dxUme “Changing your company’s strategy almost always proves tougher than you thought it would. But it’s inevitably easier than changing your culture.” The Lords of Strategy Walter Kiechel III
  17. 17. 7. Strategy has the wrong audience Way too often, only lip service to users, customers, visitors, partners, collaborators, staff https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Direktorium_LDE.jpg https://flic.kr/p/naUzay Thomas Hawke Oakland 2010, CC-BY-NC Too much of this Too little of this
  18. 18. 8. Strategy is dishonest Too much cheerleading and taking credit for existing success. Rarely dives deep, exposes contradictions, presents dilemmas, or clarifies choices. “People don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.” —Friedrich Nietzsche
  19. 19. 9. Strategy fails to inspire “At the end of the day, this strategy has to mean something to the people who are actually going to do the work.” Paraphrase Leo Mullen, CEO, Navigation Arts
  20. 20. 10. Strategy almost never succeeds (see next slides)
  21. 21. “I had [this exchange] with every single consulting firm I interviewed…” Walter Kiechel III Corporate Strategists Under Fire Fortune magazine, December 27, 1982
  22. 22. "How many of your clients have strategies?" December 1982 Fortune “Corporate Strategists Under Fire.” Walter Keichel III
  23. 23. "If they're our client, they have a strategy by now.” December 1982 Fortune “Corporate Strategists Under Fire.” Walter Keichel III
  24. 24. "How many can effectively implement those strategies?” December 1982 Fortune “Corporate Strategists Under Fire.” Walter Keichel III
  25. 25. "Uhhh," long pause, much visible reluctance. "This is not for attribution, right?” December 1982 Fortune “Corporate Strategists Under Fire.” Walter Keichel III
  26. 26. "Right. Is it fifty percent?” December 1982 Fortune “Corporate Strategists Under Fire.” Walter Keichel III
  27. 27. "Oh no, not fifty percent.” December 1982 Fortune “Corporate Strategists Under Fire.” Walter Keichel III
  28. 28. "Thirty percent?” December 1982 Fortune “Corporate Strategists Under Fire.” Walter Keichel III
  29. 29. "Um, no." December 1982 Fortune “Corporate Strategists Under Fire.” Walter Keichel III
  30. 30. “…After a little more back-and-forth, the final estimate would emerge: December 1982 Fortune “Corporate Strategists Under Fire.” Walter Keichel III fewer than 10 percent of their clients, in the consultants' judgment, were fully successful at putting their corporate strategies to work.”
  31. 31. “…After a little more back-and-forth, the final estimate would emerge: December 1982 Fortune “Corporate Strategists Under Fire.” Walter Keichel III fewer than 10 percent of their clients, in the consultants' judgment, were fully successful at putting their corporate strategies to work.” At the highest levels of the art of strategy only 10% of companies are capable of making it work (and I think that’s generous)
  32. 32. "We could do what [the board of directors] wanted and write a traditional business plan. That would keep our board happy, but it would not motivate or inspire our employees, it would not help attract the new talent the company so desperately needed, and it wouldn't address the strategic dynamics of [our] brand-new industry." Eric Schmidt (Google chairman) and Jonathan Rosenberg How Google Works
  33. 33. http://techcrunch.com/2014/04/12/culture-eats-strategy-for-breakfast/ “I used to think corporate culture didn’t matter…And then my first company failed. It failed…because we had no meaningful purpose to create team unity to fight through the tough times.”
  34. 34. “A large but unknowable proportion of businesses fail pursuing nearly perfect strategies.” http://boxesandarrows.com/we-tried-to-warn-you-part-2/
  35. 35. Why would we invest so much time and energy in such a flawed paradigm? There must be a better way.
  36. 36. http://archive.wired.com/science/discoveries/magazine/16-07/pb_theory/ The age-old process of “hypothesize, model, test—is becoming obsolete” in many ways
  37. 37. The end of theory I read somewhere that it was once the practice to design racing yachts through expensive modeling and prototyping that usually didn’t work…Until someone figured out that they could actually build and sail a couple of boats in the real world for the same amount of money they were spending on models.* CC-BY, Oracle EMEA PR https://flic.kr/p/bLM5kZ * And if the boats weren’t fast they could be sold as leisure craft
  38. 38. The end of theory Agile processes (doing quickly to see results with real users) beat long-term projections by experts
  39. 39. “The Agile Manifesto” Manifesto for Agile Software Development (2001) We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value: Individuals and interactions over processes and tools Working software over comprehensive documentation Customer collaboration over contract negotiation Responding to change over following a plan That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more. http://www.agilemanifesto.org/
  40. 40. https://www.kickstarter.com/backing-and-hacking/drew-conway-on-large-scale-non-expert-text-coding Even for difficult “expert analysis tasks”, many amateurs making a lot of small decisions can outperform a few experts making fewer, bigger decisions
  41. 41. A/B testing beats expert theories Testing with real users beats expert theories & HIPPOs* ideas about what users will like & do. * Highest Paid Person’s Opinion http://www.sparkpage.com/1-billion-worth-of-ab-testing/ Defined: https://vwo.com/ab-testing/
  42. 42. https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising/2013-14_Report A/B testing of Wikipedia fundraising banners drove 92% increase in donations between 2012-2013
  43. 43. https://medium.com/the-business-of-living/why-quantity-should-be-your-priority-3bc2b16fe3f5
  44. 44. http://handsonpottery.ca/new-6-8-week-classes-means/ Quantity and practice beat the pure pursuit of excellence
  45. 45. “The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: 50 pounds of pots rated an “A”, 40 pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot — albeit a perfect one — to get an “A”. http://handsonpottery.ca/new-6-8-week-classes-means/ Quality via quantity
  46. 46. “Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work—and learning from their mistakes — the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.” http://handsonpottery.ca/new-6-8-week-classes-means/ Quality via quantity
  47. 47. Doing is SO MUCH EASIER NOW https://youtu.be/nnWZP5hUVNo
  48. 48. “We forget how far it’s come” https://youtu.be/nnWZP5hUVNo We forget how far it's come • Smartphones are a reality for 1 billion people in Africa in 2016 • access to the world's information • two-way video conferencing • Skype, high definition video cameras, • still cameras, libraries of books and music • We've changed their world far more than anybody else's' world, it's these rising billions I'm talking about, and we forget about that. “In 2000, the cost of starting and Internet company was an average of $5 million for the bandwidth, the servers, the software, for all of that. That number has gone from $5 million to $5,000 for the equivalent, in 2014. A thousand-fold reduction. And yet we forget about this stuff… we just take it all for granted.” Peter Diamandis Chairman, X-Prize Foundation
  49. 49. Lars Lundqvist, Swedish National Heritage Board, 2012 On aggregating 4.2 million objects from 40 organizations and making it available through their open API, SOCH http://www.ksamsok.se/in-english/ http://usingdata.tumblr.com/post/32333090538/swedish-open-data-badasses-exchange-between-me Mike: Jacob - - tell us one specific badass-y thing our Swedish Humanities brothers and sisters have done that you admire. Jacob: Lars, tell him how many objects you have delivered to Europeana - it’s like 100 times more than DK [Denmark] have. Jacob: And Lars, tell Michael how many views you’ve had on Flickr… Jacob: They have aggregated 4.2 million objects from 40 orgs, content that is available through their open API - - BOOM! Lars: Well, we try to *do* things. And surprisingly often you become a badass by just trying to do things
  50. 50. https://www.ted.com/talks/jaime_lerner_sings_of_the_city?language=en “Lack of resources is no longer an excuse not to act” Jamie Lerner, as quoted in Tactical Urbanism
  51. 51. Derek Muller “How to Make a YouTube Channel” Muller makes science videos "addressing counter-intuitive concepts in science, usually beginning by discussing ideas with members of the public.” 2,873,219 subscribers • 207,753,005 views https://www.youtube.com/user/1veritasium
  52. 52. Derek Muller “How to Make a YouTube Channel” “My advice sounds so simple: start making videos. So why don't we? Why does everyone find it so difficult? Well, the answer is, you want to make something that's good, that's popular, that everyone likes. You're worried that, what if you make it and nobody does like it, or it's bad. And so rather than face that reality, you just don't make anything.” https://youtu.be/QLIKgT-OSLQ “My advice sounds so simple: start making videos.”
  53. 53. “Real artists ship.” —Attributed to Steve Jobs https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Steve_Jobs_Headshot_2010 -CROP.jpgMatthew Yohe, CC-BT-SA
  54. 54. Permissionless Innovation https://www.librarything.com/work/14343122 Today, you can do a lot of profoundly impactful, disruptive, and powerful things without asking anybody for permission “All you need is a laptop”
  55. 55. Permissionless Innovation https://www.librarything.com/work/14343122
  56. 56. Permissionless Innovation More info/slides on Permissionless Innovation, see: http://www.slideshare.net/edson m/dark-matter-the-dark-matter- of-the-internet-is-open-social- peertopeer-and-read-write/181
  57. 57. Think big, start small, move fast
  58. 58. Think big, start small, move fast I first started using this expression 5 years ago, after I heard it at the Clinton Global Initiatives summit It has proven to be an effective and powerful way to understand how to get change started Why? What does it really mean?
  59. 59. 1. Think big Thinking big is important because there are so many more possibilities than there were a few years ago—and there are enormous problems to solve
  60. 60. 3.1 billion people are online And another 5 billion are likely to join them in the next decade. http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users/ “…global connectivity, immense computational power, and access to all the world's knowledge amassed over many centuries, in everyone’s hands. The world has never, ever, been in that situation before…” http://edge.org/response-detail/10646 Keith Devlin Executive Director, H-STAR Institute, Stanford University
  61. 61. There are immense and compelling challenges to overcome • Climate change • Biodiversity • Globalization • Cultural tolerance • Cultural enfranchisement • Literacy (+ scientific) • Education • Human rights • Monetary system reforms http://globalchallenges.org/publications/globalrisks/about-the-project/
  62. 62. Big (global, impactful) work is easier than it has ever been …Even for small teams with limited resources Example: Hank and John Green https://www.youtube.com/user/vlogbrothers/about • 2,640,395 YouTube subscribers • 559,687,790 views Image via http://www.hypable.com/hank-johngreen-launch-subbable-video-platform/
  63. 63. “Within anyone’s reach” “If you are trying to do something big, it’s not enough to just grow, you need to scale… In the Internet Century, this sort of global growth is within anyone’s reach….It no longer takes a phalanx of people and a widespread network of offices to create a company.” Eric Schmidt & Jonathan Rosenberg How Google Works
  64. 64. “Bold goals attract bold people” http://www.roomtoread.org/ Room-to-Read has distributed 10 million books and built 17,000 libraries and 1,900 schools
  65. 65. “In 20 years…I’d like to have 100,000 libraries, reaching 50 million kids. Our 50-year goal is to reverse the notion that any child can be told ‘you were born in the wrong place at the wrong time and so you will not get educated.’ That idea belongs on the scrapheap of human history.” —John Wood, Founder, Room to Read http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/06/opinion/sunday/kristof-his-libraries-12000-so-far-change-lives.html?_r=2&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&
  66. 66. “Big bets…attract the best people” http://www.slideshare.net/ericschmidt/how-google-works-final-1#52 Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg How Google Works
  67. 67. 10x improvement is easier than 10% http://www.wired.com/2013/02/moonshots-matter-heres-how-to-make-them-happen/
  68. 68. 2. Starting small Big change seems daunting at first, but small actions, aligned with a big goal, can add up quickly
  69. 69. http://readwrite.com/2014/01/15/world-economic-forum-davos-world-of-developers Will the future be made by big, monolithic institutions?
  70. 70. http://makezine.com/2008/10/10/100000-garages/ …Or in 100,000 garages?
  71. 71. CC-BY Ricardo Ricote, www.urbanity.es https://flic.kr/p/8u5MvX “’Over the past few years Microsoft has spent billions on research and new product development,' observes a professor at Harvard. 'What do they have to show for it? Nothing. Zero.' The innovators that create wealth come instead from interlopers, start-ups, smaller enterprises more capable of seeing and seizing opportunities thrown up by change." Walter Keichel III The Lords of Strategy
  72. 72. “Start doing immediately” “With time and thought, anyone can generate dozens of ideas…that are relevant to a specific situation. My advice: don’t try. A long list can be overwhelming. A sense of being overwhelmed stops action instead of encouraging it. A better strategy is to identify three or four ideas that will be easy to implement, and start doing so immediately.” John Kotter A Sense of Urgency, 2008
  73. 73. Compound Interest Small, early results that generate real knowledge about customers and outcomes generate a form of compound interest Image: http://www.batr.org/negotium/071112.html A little invested here… …Beats a lot invested here
  74. 74. The Lean Startup http://theleanstartup.com/principles “A core component of Lean Startup methodology is the build-measure-learn feedback loop. The first step is figuring out the problem that needs to be solved and then developing a minimum viable product (MVP) to begin the process of learning as quickly as possible.”
  75. 75. “Technology animates the lean start-up process. Free open-source programming tools and easily distributed Web-based software drive down the cost of developing new products and services. The early companies embracing the principles live largely on the Web, which makes it possible to measure and track customer behavior constantly and to invite suggestions and criticism.” http://dealbook.nytimes.com//2010/04/26/the-rise-of-the-fleet-footed-start-up/
  76. 76. Minimum Viable Product Figure out the smallest element of functionality that delivers value to your users, then build and test that. Refine and iterate. Image (modified) http://blog.fastmonkeys.com/2014/06/18/minimum-viable- product-your-ultimate-guide-to-mvp-great-examples/
  77. 77. Minimum Viable Product What I’m talking about is a kind of Minimum Viable Product mentality for strategy—and as an alternative to developing traditional strategies Image (modified) http://blog.fastmonkeys.com/2014/06/18/minimum-viable- product-your-ultimate-guide-to-mvp-great-examples/
  78. 78. Short-term wins "Real transformation takes time, and a renewal effort risks losing momentum if there are no short- term goals to meet and celebrate…Without short- term wins, too many people give up or actively join the ranks of those people who have been resisting change. […] Commitments to produce short-term wins help keep the urgency level up and force detailed analytical thinking that can clarify or revise visions.” John Kotter Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail 1995
  79. 79. Short-term wins "Real transformation takes time, and a renewal effort risks losing momentum if there are no short- term goals to meet and celebrate…Without short- term wins, too many people give up or actively join the ranks of those people who have been resisting change. […] Commitments to produce short-term wins help keep the urgency level up and force detailed analytical thinking that can clarify or revise visions.” John Kotter Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail 1995
  80. 80. Short-term wins "Real transformation takes time, and a renewal effort risks losing momentum if there are no short- term goals to meet and celebrate…Without short- term wins, too many people give up or actively join the ranks of those people who have been resisting change. […] Commitments to produce short-term wins help keep the urgency level up and force detailed analytical thinking that can clarify or revise visions.” John Kotter Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail 1995
  81. 81. Starting small ≠ incrementalism Don’t confuse starting small with avoiding big problems/opportunities Kathy Sierra, Creating Passionate Users: http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2007/04/my_favorite_gra.html
  82. 82. Starting small ≠ incrementalism Don’t confuse starting small with avoiding big problems/opportunities Kathy Sierra, Creating Passionate Users: http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2007/04/my_favorite_gra.html Way too many organizations are stuck here—and don’t even know it
  83. 83. What can you do today? Take a stand. Starting small and doing something useful for real people forces you to make a public commitment about what you believe in. This accelerates learning. The world is changing too quickly for any other kind of work. Old models can’t keep up.
  84. 84. My rule of 1 year Think about gathering together a year from now. What two or three things must you accomplish in the next year—things that are so basic and important that if you don’t finish them you should resign in shame. Start working on those things today.
  85. 85. 3. Moving fast “Velocity matters,” but time is the most difficult dimension to understand
  86. 86. Wiki-Wiki! "HNL Wiki Wiki Bus" by Andrew Laing - Wiki-Wiki!!!. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:HNL_Wiki_Wiki_Bus.jpg#/media/File:HNL_Wiki_Wiki_Bus.jpg “Wiki-wiki” means “super fast” in Hawaiian. The “wiki” in Wikipedia’s name is inspired by the Wiki-Wiki shuttle at Honolulu airport. Wikipedia succeeds and scales, in part, because wikis encourage speed
  87. 87. “We’re changing…maybe not fast enough.” – Deputy director of US museum, on the results of their widely acclaimed, award-winning museum transformation project “Our next strategy will take three years to develop. It’s too slow.” – Director of Strategy at a major European national library "I don’t know how to convince upper management that any sort of change is necessary, or that any particular change is worth making.” – A program officer hired to institute change at one of America’s largest foundations
  88. 88. "The problem is, most companies today are run to minimize risk, not maximize freedom and speed." Eric Schmidt and Jeffrey Rosenberg How Google Works
  89. 89. “Velocity matters.” Velocity does, indeed, matter, and Google deploys it to great effect. Conventional software is typically built, tested and shipped in two- or three-year product cycles. Inside Google, Mr. Schmidt says, there are no two-year plans. Its product road maps look ahead only four or five months at most. And, Mr. Schmidt says, the only plans “anybody believes in go through the end of this quarter.” Google maintains that pace courtesy of the cloud. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/16/technology/16goog.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0
  90. 90. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/21/opinion/21lu.html “In many ways, the key to innovation is speed of execution…To maintain a vibrant, innovative program, NASA needs to step up the rate of rocket launchings.” Astronaut Edward Lu argues that in order to improve and innovate, NASA must dramatically increase the number of launches
  91. 91. http://www.slideshare.net/ericschmidt/how-google-works-final-1#16 “Slow doesn’t work in the Internet Century” How Google Works, Eric Schmidt & Jonathan Rosenberg
  92. 92. About slowness… • Some things take time • But behind many “slow” projects are a lot of small, fast things • Most organizations waste enormous amounts of time in the initial “upstream” phases of their projects (when they could be doing and learning) Not everything needs to be fast, but most work is way too slow, complacent.
  93. 93. Think big, start small, move fast 8 Examples 1. Tactical Urbanism 2. Khan Academy 3. NY Times Archive 4. Smithsonian Web Strategy 5. NPR Tiny Desk 6. Vlogbrothers 7. Wikipedia 8. TED
  94. 94. 1. Tactical Urbanism Photo by Nina Munteanu, http://ToulouseLeTrek.com , via Tactical Urbanism
  95. 95. “An alternative approach to master planning is beginning to emerge” http://www.citylab.com/design/2012/05/rise-temporary-city/1865/
  96. 96. https://islandpress.org/book/tactical-urbanism https://youtu.be/sMFrJxFxp1Q • Civic hacking at the neighborhood/city scale • A healthy balance of of planning and doing • Short term interventions aligned with long term goals • Open/iterative processes • “The creative potential unleashed by social interaction”
  97. 97. Photo via http://www.citylab.com/tech/2012/02/guerilla-wayfinding-raleigh/1139/ Fast/cheap (and illegal) “Guerilla Wayfinding” project in Raleigh, NC, encouraged walking and quickly lead to new policies, funding, and permanent change
  98. 98. Commandeering public parking spaces to make “parklets” shows the hidden potential of forgotten urban spaces
  99. 99. http://www.thenatureofcities.com/TNOC/wp- content/uploads/2015/07/Crosswalk-861x560.png Guerilla crosswalks (painted by citizens when city hall is unresponsive) A form of prototyping and user testing
  100. 100. Uncredited photo from Tactical Urbanism In 2009, Times Square was transformed almost overnight with cheap lawn chairs
  101. 101. Uncredited photo from Tactical Urbanism Cheap, short-term tactical intervention drove permanent change throughout the city. Social media, blogs, how-to manuals shared on the web help spread tactical urbanism to other cities
  102. 102. Uncredited photo from Tactical Urbanism Using crash statistics and GPS data from taxis… Midtown Manhattan became less congested, shorter travel times, injuries to motorists and passengers down 63%; pedestrian injuries down 35%; foot traffic up 11%. Ongoing times square redesign “lead to an unprecedented 180% increase in retail rents, making the area for the first time ever one of the ten most valuable commercial destinations in the world.” Tactical Urbanism: https://islandpress.org/book/tactical-urbanism Surprising, abundant evidence of success
  103. 103. 2. Khan Academy
  104. 104. “A free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere”
  105. 105. http://www.ted.com/talks/salman_khan_let_s_use_video_to_reinvent_education?language=en 2006: Salman Khan started making YouTube videos to teach his cousins calculus.
  106. 106. http://www.ted.com/talks/salman_khan_let_s_use_video_to_reinvent_education?language=en Khan Academy • Started making YouTube videos to help his cousins learn math in 2006 • Feedback from users Quit his job in the financial industry to do this full time • 627 million views (YouTube) from every country on earth Feedback from all over the world convinced him he was on to something important
  107. 107. Image: https://www.facebook.com/khanacademy/videos/181364165210965/ He set up an office in his bedroom closet and started making more videos
  108. 108. The Khan Academy had 83 million users in 2014 900,000 teachers “But what we're going to talk about in this is how we're going to the next level.” http://www.ted.com/talks/salman_khan_let_s_use_video_to_reinvent _education?language=en
  109. 109. http://www.youtube.com/user/smarthistoryvideos Smarthistory at Khan Academy • Art historians Beth Harris and Stephen Zucker started making podcasts to fill-in gaps in online art history content • Started with $700/year tech budget • Now reach millions of learners a semester
  110. 110. NY Times Archive http://timesmachine.nytimes.com/browser 3. NY Times Archive
  111. 111. Scott Beale: CC-BY-NC https://flic.kr/p/cBHuAG “In late 2007, the New York Times faced a challenge. It wanted to make available over the web its entire archive of articles, 11 million in all, dating back to 1851.” Quotes from Nicholas Carr, November 5, 2008 http://www.roughtype.com/?p=1189
  112. 112. http://creativitycat.com/index.php?page=58Quotes from Nicholas Carr, November 5, 2008 http://www.roughtype.com/?p=1189 “Fortunately, a software programmer at the Times, Derek Gottfrid, had been playing around with Amazon Web Services for a number of months…”
  113. 113. http://creativitycat.com/index.php?page=58Quotes from Nicholas Carr, November 5, 2008 http://www.roughtype.com/?p=1189 “He…rented 100 virtual computers through EC2 and ran the data through them. In less than 24 hours, he had his 11 million PDFs, all stored neatly in S3 and ready to be served up to visitors to the Times site…”
  114. 114. http://creativitycat.com/index.php?page=58 Quotes from Nicholas Carr, November 5, 2008 http://www.roughtype.com/?p=1189 “the entire EC2 bill came to $240”
  115. 115. Nicholas Carr, November 5, 2008 http://www.roughtype.com/?p=1189
  116. 116. http://timesmachine.nytimes.com/browser
  117. 117. http://open.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/05/21/the-new-york-times-archives-amazon-web-services-timesmachine/
  118. 118. 4. Smithsonian Web Strategy
  119. 119. http://smithsonian-webstrategy.wikispaces.com/Process+At-a-Glance 2009 Web and New Media Strategy was developed on a public facing wiki using an open, inclusive and transparent “workshops-to-wiki” process
  120. 120. http://smithsonian-webstrategy.wikispaces.com/Education+Workshop+Real-Time+Notes Running notes from workshops (open to all staff) were shared with participants in real time “wiki-cast” live to the public web.
  121. 121. The strategy was written on the public wiki, where it could change easily, as needed. The wiki became the strategy Using this process, the Smithsonian developed a strategy, involving hundreds of participants, in about 6 weeks start-to-finish. http://smithsonian-webstrategy.wikispaces.com/Strategy+--+Themes It’s all self-documenting
  122. 122. http://www.slideshare.net/edsonm/michael-edson-the-smithsonian-web-and-new-media- strategy-what-it-is-how-we-made-it-and-why-it-makes-a-difference-3656578 Slides and paper about the process
  123. 123. http://www.npr.org/series/tiny-desk-concerts/ 5. Tiny Desk (NPR)
  124. 124. http://www.npr.org/event/music/212633651/mother-falcon-tiny-desk-concert Quick, relatively low-tech recordings of visiting performers done at the desk of Bob Boilen, one of National Public Radio’s producers Not an ideal environment, but they do it, and it’s cheap, and it’s wildly popular Started as a joke Vast and curated
  125. 125. Story: http://www.npr.org/sections/allsongs/2015/02/23/385467504/10-tiny-desk-contest-entries-we-also-loved Photo: Morgan McCloy for NPR http://tinydeskcontest.tumblr.com/post/113168039712/i-am-fantastic-negrito-there-is-only-one "More than ever, we are a creative culture…There's an incredible wealth of talent out there waiting to be discovered.” Bob Bolien, NPR
  126. 126. http://youtu.be/vtyXbTHKhI0?list=PL01DB486622C092C0 5. Vlogbrothers
  127. 127. Started as a private joke between two brothers on January 1, 2007 http://youtu.be/vtyXbTHKhI0?list=PL01DB486622C092C0
  128. 128. “I put up our MySpace page and we already have 69 friends. How did that happen so fast? You put up a little page and then sparks fly up and Boom!” (February 20, 2007) “I am absolutely amazed by the response to my survey. That survey post has over 63 comments.” Started very small Moved very fast
  129. 129. https://www.youtube.com/user/vlogbrothers/videos?flow=grid&sort=da&view=0 Over 2,000 videos recorded to date
  130. 130. http://youtu.be/OPlo_T_PZsE Incredible scale and diversity of projects Incredible devotion to fans, community, humanity
  131. 131. https://www.youtube.com/user/vlogbrothers/about 2.5 million subscribers 527 million views 31 channels 974 million views 6.8 million subscribers
  132. 132. Much more info here:http://www.slideshare.net/edson m/dark-matter-the-dark-matter-of-the- internet-is-open-social-peertopeer-and- read-write
  133. 133. 6. Amanda Palmer Steve Jurvetson CC-BY https://flic.kr/p/dZqwCM
  134. 134. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/amandapalmer/amanda-palmer-the-new-record-art-book-and-tour She raised $1.2 million from 24,000 fans How?
  135. 135. John Nakamura Remy CC-BY-SA https://flic.kr/p/6fzA3A “…one day, the artist steps up and asks for something. And if the ground has been fertilized enough, the audience says, without hesitation: Of course. But it isn't magic. That first part can take years. Decades. A lot of misunderstanding about crowd funding stems from missing this point: if somebody hasn't been watching you farm, suddenly sees the fruits of the labor, and thinks that maybe it all happened by magic, it can be painful.” Her crowdfunding success came as a result of a years of small acts of total commitment to her fans Amanda Palmer, The Art of Asking Years of total commitment to her fans
  136. 136. “The entertainment industry, reflecting the world at large, has been obsessed with the wrong question: how do we MAKE people pay for content? What if we started thinking about it the other way around: how do we LET people pay for content? The first question is about FORCE. The second question is about TRUST. This isn't just about music. It's about everything. It's hard enough to give fearlessly, and it's even harder to receive fearlessly. But within that exchange lies the hardest thing of all: To ask. Without shame. And to accept the help that people offer. Not to force them. Just to let them.”Amanda Palmer, The Art of Asking DeSha Metschke CC-BY-SA 3.0 (modified) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:AmandaPalmer_live.jpg How do we LET people pay for content?
  137. 137. http://www.ted.com/talks/amanda_palmer_the_art_of_asking?language=en https://books.google.com/books?id=xq- MAwAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&dq=amanda%20palmer&pg=PP1#v= onepage&q=amanda%20palmer&f=false
  138. 138. "HNL Wiki Wiki Bus" by Andrew Laing - Wiki-Wiki!!!. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:HNL_Wiki_Wiki_Bus.jpg#/media/File:HNL_Wiki_Wiki_Bus.jpg 7. Wikipedia
  139. 139. “Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet has free access to the sum of all human knowledge”
  140. 140. Wikipedia started as Nupedia, a highly controlled and edited web-based for- profit encyclopedia… But “Nupedia was simply not working, because people were not collaborating efficiently and articles were not being generated fast enough.” [Andrew Lih, The Wikipedia Revolution]
  141. 141. Image: http://www.wired.com/2010/03/0325wikiwikiweb-first-wiki/ But Wikis let everyone contribute In 1995 "…With a few hundred lines of Perl code, Ward [Cunningham] was able to create a site where it was easy to edit the very pages people were browsing.” “It was an amazing conception: the Web with write permissions, just like Tim Berners-Lee always wanted.” Quotes: Andrew Lih, The Wikipedia Revolution
  142. 142. “Wikipedia achieved more in weeks, by volume [of articles created], than Nupedia had in one year.” [Andrew Lih, The Wikipedia Revolution] (Wikipedia grew to 20,000 articles in the first year)
  143. 143. The Ignore All Rules rule If rules make you nervous and depressed, and not desirous of participating in the Wiki, then ignore them and go about your business. Quote from Andrew Lih, The Wikipedia Revolution “We needed participants more than we needed rules…” { Larry Sanger
  144. 144. Be Bold Be bold in editing, moving, and modifying articles, because the joy of editing is that, although it should be aimed for, perfection is not required. And do not worry about messing up. Quote from Andrew Lih, The Wikipedia Revolution "Wikis don't work if people aren't bold.” Larry Sanger, February 2002.
  145. 145. Photo: "JimmyWalesJI5" by Joi Ito -CC BY 2.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:JimmyWalesJI5.jpg#/media/File:JimmyWalesJI5.jpg “One of the things about Wikipedia is that we are very very mission driven: what we care about is a free encyclopedia for every single person on the planet.” Jimmy Wales, 10th Birthday of Wikipedia http://youtu.be/wU67vB2r4d0
  146. 146. 8. TED
  147. 147. “When we first put up a few of the talks as an experiment, we got such impassioned responses that we decided to flip the organization on its head…” Julie Coe, TED's Chris Anderson, http://www/Departures.com March 2012 Chris Anderson
  148. 148. • Started as a one-off conference in 1986 Technology, Education, Design • “Ideas worth spreading” • Openness as an accelerant
  149. 149. “At TED, we’ve become a little obsessed with this idea of openness.” http://www.ted.com/talks/chris_anderson_how_web_video_powers_global_innovation?language=en
  150. 150. “We opened up our talks to the world, and suddenly there are millions of people out there helping spread our speakers’ ideas, and thereby making it easier for us to recruit and motivate the next generation of speakers.” http://www.ted.com/talks/chris_anderson_how_web_video_powers_global_innovation?language=en
  151. 151. “By opening up our translation program, thousands of heroic volunteers — some of them watching online right now, and thank you! — have translated our talks into more than 70 languages, thereby tripling our viewership in non- English-speaking countries.” http://www.ted.com/talks/chris_anderson_how_web_video_powers_global_innovation?language=en
  152. 152. “By giving away our TEDx brand, we suddenly have a thousand-plus live experiments in the art of spreading ideas….” http://www.ted.com/talks/chris_anderson_how_web_video_powers_global_innovation?language=en
  153. 153. “And these organizers, they’re seeing each other, they’re learning from each other. We are learning from them. We’re getting great talks back from them. The wheel is turning.” http://www.ted.com/talks/chris_anderson_how_web_video_powers_global_innovation?language=en
  154. 154. http://blog.ted.com/2012/11/13/ted-reaches-its-billionth-video-view/
  155. 155. “Openness is not just about distributing information. It is also a matter of being present in order to interact and cooperate with the people who want to follow you. Ideally, openness allows you to work together with members of the community.” —Merete Sanderhoff http://www.sharingiscaring.smk.dk/en
  156. 156. About measurement Measure for abundance
  157. 157. Good to Great, published in 2001, a 5-year research project to understand the difference between “good” and “great” performance in business. Followed-up by Good to Great in the Social Sector (2005) Two of the most influential business/management books ever published https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_to_Great
  158. 158. “Rigorously assemble evidence” “It doesn’t matter whether you can quantify your results. What matters is that you rigorously assemble evidence—qualitative and quantitative—to track your progress.” Jim Collins Good to Great and the Social Sector, 2005Jim Collins Good to Great and the Social Sector, 2005
  159. 159. All measurements are flawed “To throw our hands up and say, ‘But we cannot measure performance in the social sectors the way you can in business’ is simply lack of discipline. All indicators are flawed, whether qualitative or quantitative. Test scores are flawed, mammograms are flawed, crime data are flawed, customer service data are flawed, patient- outcome data are flawed. What matters is not finding the perfect indicator, but settling upon a consistent and intelligent method of assessing your output results, and then tracking your trajectory with rigor.” Jim Collins Good to Great and the Social Sector, 2005 Jim Collins Good to Great and the Social Sector, 2005
  160. 160. All measurements are flawed “To throw our hands up and say, ‘But we cannot measure performance in the social sectors the way you can in business’ is simply lack of discipline. All indicators are flawed, whether qualitative or quantitative. Test scores are flawed, mammograms are flawed, crime data are flawed, customer service data are flawed, patient- outcome data are flawed. What matters is not finding the perfect indicator, but settling upon a consistent and intelligent method of assessing your output results, and then tracking your trajectory with rigor.” Jim Collins Good to Great and the Social Sector, 2005 Jim Collins Good to Great and the Social Sector, 2005
  161. 161. All measurements are flawed “To throw our hands up and say, ‘But we cannot measure performance in the social sectors the way you can in business’ is simply lack of discipline. All indicators are flawed, whether qualitative or quantitative. Test scores are flawed, mammograms are flawed, crime data are flawed, customer service data are flawed, patient- outcome data are flawed. What matters is not finding the perfect indicator, but settling upon a consistent and intelligent method of assessing your output results, and then tracking your trajectory with rigor.” Jim Collins Good to Great and the Social Sector, 2005 Jim Collins Good to Great and the Social Sector, 2005
  162. 162. All measurements are flawed “To throw our hands up and say, ‘But we cannot measure performance in the social sectors the way you can in business’ is simply lack of discipline. All indicators are flawed, whether qualitative or quantitative. Test scores are flawed, mammograms are flawed, crime data are flawed, customer service data are flawed, patient- outcome data are flawed. What matters is not finding the perfect indicator, but settling upon a consistent and intelligent method of assessing your output results, and then tracking your trajectory with rigor.” Jim Collins Good to Great and the Social Sector, 2005 Jim Collins Good to Great and the Social Sector, 2005
  163. 163. In 1985, Christo wrapped the Pont Neuf in Paris How would you measure the success of a wrapped Pont Neuf?
  164. 164. An argument breaks out on the bridge, from Christo in Paris (documentary film, 1990) “It’s pure art.” “This is free art.” “It’s pure art, there to express what you feel.” “And this is art?” “It’s not art?” “If you tell me this is art, then we’re not speaking the same language.” … “Explain to me what art is then! Explain to us what art is. Tell me what it is.” “It’s very complicated. I can’t tell you in two words. But it is a creation of the mind, a creation that transposes reality." "It’s an idea!” “No, a creation which transposes reality in such a way that will express something in a sensitive way to others.” “I don’t know you. You don’t know me. If the bridge weren’t wrapped, we would have never spoken to each other. Ever." A tour guide observes, "Nothing will stay, it’s ephemeral. But people will look at the Pont Neuf in a different way.”
  165. 165. An argument breaks out on the bridge, from Christo in Paris (documentary film, 1990) “It’s pure art.” “This is free art.” “It’s pure art, there to express what you feel.” “And this is art?” “It’s not art?” “If you tell me this is art, then we’re not speaking the same language.” … “Explain to me what art is then! Explain to us what art is. Tell me what it is.” “It’s very complicated. I can’t tell you in two words. But it is a creation of the mind, a creation that transposes reality." "It’s an idea!” “No, a creation which transposes reality in such a way that will express something in a sensitive way to others.” “I don’t know you. You don’t know me. If the bridge weren’t wrapped, we would have never spoken to each other. Ever." A tour guide observes, "Nothing will stay, it’s ephemeral. But people will look at the Pont Neuf in a different way.” We talk about engagement and user experience in our own projects and we struggle to derive meaning from a few more visits, downloads, shares, and likes. But when you look at the crowds at the Pont Neuf, when you see the body language of the visitors and listen to the debates taking place between strangers…
  166. 166. You don’t need a microscope or a PhD to understand this level of engagement…
  167. 167. This level of engagement is abundantly, inarguably clear
  168. 168. Strategy can be a useful tool
  169. 169. And the absence of strategy can be an impediment
  170. 170. Agile processes are not a panacea and big/small/fast is a tool, not a worldview
  171. 171. But all that being said, given the preponderance of evidence my advice is… Work on stuff that matters Look for abundance
  172. 172. Use a healthy mix of planning and doing Be open, in all senses of the word
  173. 173. Pick a general direction, work with your network, and implement like hell.
  174. 174. Think big, start small, move fast
  175. 175. https://youtu.be/RYlCVwxoL_g Begin!

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