Monday, August 25, 2014

Optimize For the Exploration of Ideas

This applies to office/lab/shop/whatever design and maintenance, and the idea is simple:
minimize the time and effort overhead in moving between the inception of an idea and starting to develop it.

We all have different tolerances for this, and it varies by the value of the idea, and the immediate impact it has. In my case, sometimes a Post-It note will do. Other times, I need to start Right Now, when my brain is on a fast boil.

I have found those fast-boil cases to be not only the most useful, but the most fun. I ignore those famous quotes about a clean desk being a sign that you aren't doing anything interesting or useful. 

Being unable to find either a tool or information, having to clear either a physical or electronic work space, or anything similar to those things, can be a huge loss. Staying organized is a constant battle for me, but every minute or dollar I have ever spent in the effort has proven to be a useful investment. Seriously. In my experience, there have been no exceptions to this rule, even when the time, effort, or money required has been large. When the resource expenditure required to clean things up is largest is exactly when you get the most benefit from getting things sorted.

I want to be able to find a file (physical or electronic), a drill (as in the physical tool), space to deploy a new instance of a server or application Right Now. I optimize for the exploration of ideas.

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