Links and articles about technology, design, and sociology. Written by Rian van der Merwe. Follow @RianVDM
Iteration, variation, and not giving up on your bad ideas
I’ve written before about the importance of using both iteration (progressively solidifying the details of a product) and variation (coming up with ideas that are very different from the current iteration). We now know that Apple does that all the time; but it also recently became clear that they don’t view their unused variations as failures. Kyle Baxter makes a good point about this in Apple’s iPhone Prototypes:
But what’s fascinating to me is that designs rejected during the development process for an earlier version of the product may come back in future versions. That initial first step, where many unique designs are created, becomes the grist for the future of the product, a conceptual mine to return to for ideas. A particular design may have failed during an earlier product development process but could become the basis for development of a new design. Earlier rejected designs became the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS, and others became the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, perhaps Apple’s most iconic iPhone version yet.
It’s worth remembering: never underestimate the future value of what might seem like a bad idea at the time.