Prove it with prototyping: how to test your ideas and focus your innovation

James Gordon, who works at Futures Lab at the Reynolds Journalism Institute, gives us a very practical example to illustrate how it's easy to confuse problem-solving with problem-framing. He takes us through how he built a @TweetsToText bot, a very simple tool for politics journalists and sports reporters who provide press conference/ in-game commentary, only to have to type it all out again. There are lots of lessons here for our grantees and anyone running experiments.

Key quote? "If you're focused on solving the problem, then you're more inclined to over-invest in any idea that feels like the right solution. Once you're locked in, it's difficult to adapt."

Key takeaway? Low-fi protoypes are a great first step. Use pipe cleaners, sellotape and card to do something quick and easy and evolve it from there.

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