How I experiment I focus on the task at hand, not the end result. Focusing on the process allows serendipity and personal exploration to take over. Otherwise, I might inadvertently apply a subjective idea of how I want something to turn out, rather than what would be best for long-term discovery. I try not to create and judge at the same time. Creation and judgment are very different thought processes and can interfere with each other, so they must be done separately. I experiment and explore every idea first (writing it down, drawing it out, actually trying to do it). Only then do I move into editing, curating, and judging to improve and refine the idea.
I break the experiment down into the smallest tasks possible. Then, I work completely on each small task. Only at the end do I tie all those tasks together. This prevents me from feeling overwhelmed or scared about tackling such a big project. I remember that these are experiments. They’re not full-time business ideas. First, I figure out how to run the experiment using the least resources possible. What is the core or essence of my idea that I can quickly prototype? Then I get that prototype in front of as many people as possible before pursuing it further. I fail fast. I don’t repeat myself. The same experiment can’t have a different result unless I change the variables. If I experiment with an idea and it doesn’t work, I either change things up or move onto a new idea. There’s no point doing the same experiment over and over, hoping for something new to happen. If I want a different outcome, I have to change the experiment up a little — refocus for a new audience, try a different medium, or experiment with a completely new idea.
Everything I Know by Paul Jarvis