The other day I read Steve Pavlina’s post Quality and Contribution, about how if you know how to contribute $10,000 worth of value in 10 minutes, or an hour, or whatever the number may be, then paying $10,000 rather than $1,000 for o hotel room might be well worth it. You get the idea.
A few months back, I posted a quote about Steven Spielberg and has ability to go around all day creatively enhancing things around him using his brainpower.
Putting the two together, it’s fantastic when you have that experience of using your brainpower in a way that contributes massively in a short amount of time. And I had just such an experience on Monday morning.
I’ve become involved in a project, called Børn i Byen, led by my wife, Caroline Meldgaard, a developer, Gert, and a designer, Mette. My role is to be an advisor/mentor on everything – business, marketing, strategy, development, design, and process.
In all the software projects I’ve done so far, I’ve been a developer. But I’m not on this one, and it turns out to suit me perfectly.
Being in a consulting role, while still being on the inside, part of the team (and part of the equity), allows me to apply perspective, and I can just draw on all of my experience with designing, building, and marketing software, and with building businesses in a completely natural way.
On Monday, I was actually mostly checking my email, catching up after the weekend, as Caroline and Gert were discussing various things. Every once in a while, they’d get stuck, and throw the ball over to me. I’d ask questions and offer suggestions, and in just a few minutes, a decision had been made, and we were all smiling.
It happened a number of times. One of the times, an issue about a feature that we had originally planned for some time after launch, but that our market has kept telling us really is essential, was brought up again. Gert and I had employed the 37signals doctrine of making features work really hard to get implemented, but at some point you just have to hand it to the feature, that it really really needs to be there.
So we knew that, but we hadn’t figured out the impact yet. When it was brought up yet again, I took us out to the whiteboard in the kitchen, and in ten minutes flat, we had the interface sketches and datamodel done, so we could go straight to prioritization and scheduling, and move on.
It was such a gratifying experience to step in and contribute exactly what I had to contribute and what was needed.
I’m not sure how to further build on this experience, other than to be aware of oppourtinities to get in similar situations in the future. But it sure feels like a step in the right direction. Thank you!
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