Monday, March 27, 2006

BBC Innovation Labs Day 1

After a 5:30am start and a five-hour commute, we've survived the first day of having ideas pulled to pieces at the BBC Innovation Labs, thanks mostly to quite heroic quantities of black coffee and a rather magnificent chocolate souffle at dinner (mmmm....sugar rush....shakey hands....nice...)

The first session of the day was mostly taken up with introductions and 1-minute pitches from each team, and then we split up into smaller groups for the afternoon session. I had to find two other people I'd never spoken to before, and then go and play Nice Cop / Nasty Cop in interrogating a team on their idea. We then presented our impressions of their project idea to the rest of the group.

It's a nerve-racking process - trying to communicate your idea to three other people, at least one of which you know is charged solely with "pulling the legs off" like a child with ADD let loose in a spider farm, and trying to ensure you communicate it in sufficient detail that they can then present it to the rest of the group. All this when the idea itself may not even be fully formed in your own mind, let alone anyone elses. You must then sit silently while the inquisitors pitch your idea to the rest of the group.

Our idea has already morphed significantly from it's original inception during these cross-examinations, and I'm sure the goalposts will shift again tomorrow. It's kind of a rapid evolution process, with the idea "gene pool" growing stronger and fitter, while the less-capable ideas falling behind and getting eaten by the hungry lions [or something].

We now have some homework to do - creating plausible, realistic, "challenging" user personas for tomorrows grilling - which has been described as "where the legs really fall off." Must go and prepare now - I think they're predicting a sunny day tomorrow, and someone is handing the ADD child a magnifying glass...


Christopher Borrowdale said...

Good luck my friend, I went to the one in Yorkshire and it was a real eye-opener!

Hope today went well and you got some good characters/user journeys out of it!

Alistair Davidson said...

Cheers! Did you get commissioned on yours?