A coat hanger, a piece of plexiglass, a sheet protector, a wire harness, a pico projector, a netbook, and 45 minutes.
That's all it took a team at Google to develop the first usable prototype for Google Glass.
It's pretty simple. You jerry-rig a really simple model of your idea or thing out of whatever is in the dusty corner of your garage or storage closet. You immediately get feedback from people outside your inner circle. Take the feedback and re-jerry-rig your prototype. Rinse and repeat.
When you are approaching or are in the midst of a period of profound change and transformation – a new challenge at work, a career change, a big personal move – it can be hard to envision the possible paths forward.
if you're like me, it's easy to get stuck in your head, trapped in the cursed pursuit of knowledge and the feeling that you always need to know more before you make an actual move.
It strikes me that rapid prototyping can be applied here. A strategy and methodology for rapid professional and personal innovation.
What materials would you need to prototype your life? What could help you see and test potential paths forward professionally or personally?
My prototype kit includes a motley crew of trusted advisors and mentors, a pretty expansive and generous network, a telephone and a computer, some butcher paper and Mr. Sketch markers, a little courage and a bit of fear, and a pair of hiking shoes.
Watch Ted Chi describe the Google Rapid Prototyping approach at TedEd.