The Difference Engine
October 26, 2016
250

# Workshop: How to Be Lucky (Tools for Design Leaders)

A workshop I hosted at the Leading Design Conference in London, 26 October 2016, hosted at the Barbican Centre. This was a 3 hour workshop reviewing design tools that aid design leaders in guiding teams through thought experiments & frameworks to cultivate better research & design.

October 26, 2016

## Transcript

1. HOW TO BE LUCKY
October 2016
@farrahbostic

2. WHAT IS LUCK?

3. LUCK IS PROBABILITY
TAKEN PERSONALLY.
- Chip Denman

4. “PROBABILITY IS A WAYPOINT
BETWEEN IGNORANCE &
KNOWLEDGE”
- Nate Silver on Pierre-Simon LaPlace,
building on Thomas Bayes

5. MATH!

➤ Here’s what you need:
➤ A hypothesis.
➤ An estimate of the probability your hypothesis was true before anything else
happens.
➤ An estimate of the probability that your hypothesis is true if an event occurred.
➤ An estimate of the probability that your hypothesis is false if that event occurred.

7. FOR EXAMPLE
Silver, Nate (2012-09-27). The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don't (p. 245). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

8. BUT YOU DON’T
STOP THERE.
You update your probability estimates continually as
new evidence comes in.

9. HOW TO BE “LUCKY” TIP #1:

COLLECT EVIDENCE!
MAKE CONNECTIONS!
KEEP BETTING!

10. WHY ARE SOME
PEOPLE LUCKY?

LUCK BASELINE

12. “LUCK SURFACE AREA”
L=D*T
http://www.codusoperandi.com/posts/increasing-your-luck-surface-area

13. “THE ART OF FINDING
WHAT YOU’RE NOT
SEEKING”
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/03/opinion/how-to-cultivate-the-art-of-serendipity.html

14. FOUR TYPES OF PEOPLE
NON-
ENCOUNTERERS
OCCASIONAL
ENCOUNTERERS
SUPER
ENCOUNTERERS
ENCOUNTERERS
http://asis.org/Bulletin/Feb-99/erdelez.html

15. HOW TO BE “LUCKY” TIP #2:

COLLIDE WITH MORE
(AND MORE DIVERSE)
PEOPLE & EXPERIENCES

16. LUCK-MAKING TOOLS

17. PUT OBJECTIVES FIRST
DISCOVERING
EXPLORING
UNDERSTANDING
TESTING
TRACKING
How might we…?
What is possible?
Why?
Will this work?
How are we doing?
QUALITATIVE
QUANTITATIVE

18. FORGET FOCUS GROUPS & INTERVIEWS

19. OBSERVATIONAL
RESEARCH
SERVICE SAFARIS
ANALOGOUS
RESEARCH
EXTREME USERS
& EXPERTS

20. ➤ What is the problem you’re trying to solve?
➤ What are the necessary attributes of that problem?
➤ What other areas share at least two of those attributes?
➤ How do products/services in those areas solve the problem?
➤ Can you see a meaningful connection between the approaches used in those areas and yours?
➤ How might you apply those approaches to your situation?
ANALOGOUS
RESEARCH

21. EXERCISE 1:

22. BREAK INTO TEAMS OF ABOUT 5 PEOPLE
➤ You have 5 minutes to identify a problem you’re struggling with right now.
➤ You have 5 minutes to identify the necessary attributes of that problem.
➤ You have 5 minutes to think of analogous areas that share 2 or more attributes.

23. ➤ Who are experts on these attributes?
➤ Who are people who break the rules of these attributes? Of your problem?
➤ Who are people who can’t use your product/service today?
➤ Who are the ‘power users’?
➤ Who are the hackers?
EXTREME USERS
& EXPERTS

24. EXERCISE 2:

➤ You have 10 minutes to come up with:
➤ Experts
➤ Non-users (because they really can’t use it)
➤ Super users
➤ Hackers

26. SYNTHESIS & ANALYSIS
ARE WHERE MEANINGFUL

27. ANALYSIS
ESTABLISH
THE FACTS
What do we know?
What is in dispute?
What is uncertain?

28. ANALYSIS
ESTABLISH
THE FACTS
SPOT
THE ISSUE
(OF FACT OR LAW)
How might we settle
disputes of fact?
How might new facts change
the shape of the issue?
How might we remedy the
problem?

29. ANALYSIS
ESTABLISH
THE FACTS
SPOT
THE ISSUE
(OF FACT OR LAW)
IDENTIFY
THE RULE
(OR BREAK WITH IT)
Is there a ‘first principle’ we
can apply here?
Can we find an analogous
principle to apply?
How might we construct a new
principle that will apply to
future, similar problems?

30. ANALYSIS
ESTABLISH
THE FACTS
SPOT
THE ISSUE
(OF FACT OR LAW)
IDENTIFY
THE RULE
(OR BREAK WITH IT)
PREDICT
AN OUTCOME
How might we solve this
problem?
How might we create more
How might we create new
value?

31. EXERCISE 3:

➤ You have 5 minutes to brainstorm rules that could apply to the problem.
➤ You have 5 minutes to sort these rules into two categories - those that can advance
the solution, and those that hold you back.
➤ You have 5 minutes to write a new rule that might apply.

33. EXPERIMENTS NEED
PRIORITIZATION &
REFLECTION

34. Customer Segments (5 min)
* Role-based
Pick One Results of 1st Customer-
Problem Experiment & What
We Learned
Results of 2nd Customer-
Problem Experiment & What
We Learned
Results of 3rd Customer-
Problem Experiment & What
We Learned
Results of 4th Customer-
Problem Experiment & What
We Learned
Customer Jobs (5 min)
* Functional
* Social
* Emotional
Rate
Customer Problems (10 min)
* Obstacles
* Undesired outcomes
* Risks
Rate Decision
* What aspects of our hypotheses still need to be tested?
* How confident are we in this hypothesis?
* What elements of the hypothesis need to adapt?
Customer Outcomes (5 min)
* Required, Desired
* Expected, Unexpected
Rate
Experiment 1: Customer-Problem Hypothesis (10 min) Testing Plan
* Method
* Questions
* Stimulus
Metrics
* Indicators of Failure
* Indicators of Success
What will be our next
experiment?
What will be our next
experiment?
What will be our next
experiment?
What will be our next
experiment?
Experiment 2: Problem-Solution Hypothesis (10 min) Testing Plan
* Method
* Questions
* Stimulus
Metrics
* Indicators of Failure
* Indicators of Success
Decision
* What aspects of our
hypotheses still need to be
tested?
* How confident are we in
this hypothesis?
* What elements of the
Outcome Optimizers (5 min)
* How the product will ensure customer outcomes
Problem-Solvers (5 min)
* How the product will solve the customer’s problems
Results of 1st Problem-
Solution Experiment & What
We Learned
Results of 2nd Problem-
Solution Experiment & What
We Learned
Results of 3rd Problem-
Solution Experiment & What
We Learned
Results of 4th Problem-
Solution Experiment & What
We Learned
Product/Service Features (10 min)
* Tangible
* Intangible
Important
Extreme
Essential
Insignificant
Moderate
Nice
Essential
Nice
Essential
Nice
Essential
Nice
Start
Test
Test
Start

35. EXERCISE 4:

➤ You have 5 minutes to come up with “how might we” questions that build on your
analogies
➤ e.g., “How might we apply the rules of x to our situation?”
➤ You have xx minutes (in 5 minute increments):
➤ Rotate! Look at the problem, attributes, people & how might we questions.
➤ Prioritize! What is important, extreme, essential, or urgent?
What will create the highest probability of serendipity?

37. ONE MORE THING

38. WHAT MATTERS TO
YOU?

“If you’re born with a long neck,
eat the high fucking fruit.”
— Stuart Eccles, Made by Many

➤ Use your beliefs in what
matters to you, your
customer as the filter for
decisions.
➤ If it doesn’t embody these
values - and those values
can include profit and
efficiency - don’t do it.

41. EXERCISE 4: