“Interesting” is the word we often hear when telling others about good innovative ideas. Unfortunately though, this is mostly the last thing we hear about it before it soon dissolves in the busyness of both working and personal lives. Unless formed, shaped and colored, ideas by themselves are defenseless and mostly worthless. How can an idea be more than just “interesting”?
A nice way to get pass the “interesting” point is as David Kelley, found of IDEO, puts it “tell me something and you might catch my interest for a short time. However, show me something; let me feel it and you would get all my attention for a much longer time”. The way is to build a prototype. In a broad sense, a prototype is whatever can give your idea a visible/tangible form and/or feeling. This can be with simple drawings, models, videos, interface mock-up images, etc. Depending on your situation, it is not necessary for a prototype it be neither functional nor attractive. Of course, building a prototype does require more investment/effort than to just say an idea.

Why prototype:

Here are some reasons that can partially illustrate the power of prototypes:

  1. It is much more likely for people to remember a prototype than an idea.
  2. Prototypes are a much stronger mean of communicating your ideas compared to just speaking about it.
  3. Having a prototype indicate your seriousness to your audience as it shows that you have invested resources to produce a prototype.
  4. Going through the making of a prototype forces you to refine your idea to a clearer and more precise form that you can deliver to your audience.
  5. A prototype helps your audience imagine the good impact your idea is about to bring.
Overall, a prototype will put you in a high standing that words can never put you in.

For what other reasons should you build a prototype?

*image from http://blogs-images.forbes.com/sap/files/2011/07/innovation.jpg