For most, the product design stage is a lot more fun, even the testing phase can be a lot of fun—particularly if the test involves test riding. But, basic research is often a bit of snooze for “kids these days”—this MTV generation loves to get to the end point as fast as possible: destination is all; the journey is a bit like bad wrapping paper.
It’s true that research takes a lot of time and can be frustrating; there’s no simple, clear, and universally correct way to do fundamental research. Often the way forward is a series of dead-ends and mistakes; and, more often than not, the results of research do not lead to a new product or process.
Fortunately, a lot of learning goes on during the mistakes and missteps. In fact, isn’t that how most learning occurs? At least, that’s what I tell myself when I’m making my moment by moment mistakes.
Of course, Seven Cycles is doing a lot of concurrency in the Collaborative. We’re not only doing research at this moment; we’ve already started some design elements, material sourcing, and even a bit of prototyping. So, we’re mixing in a lot of fun with that “boring” research work. Unfortunately, all or most of the “fun” work will be useless if the basic research doesn’t pan out properly. So, in order to increase our parallel processing—or concurrency—we’re placing some bets on what research and testing will be correct.
So, while basic research is one of the first steps in most new product projects at Seven, it’s running parallel with a half dozen other major steps during the Collaborative. It may all be a bit confusing.
Soon I’ll post an overview of all the stages through which we’re progressing. Hang in there.