HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Tim Lott founded Black Hat Innovation in 2018 after a 30-year career with Cox Media Group, including the final seven years as vice president of disruptive innovation -- creating internal startups for a big media company. His experiences in and around the startup world in Austin and Silicon Valley have given him a distinct point of view on user experience and its place in today's business world. Black Hat practices a blend of human-centered design and "lean" methodologies.
What we read
The main thesis here is that while most startups fail, many of those failures are preventable. Author Eric Ries writes about the concept of the "minimum viable product" -- the most basic, and cheapest prototype you can create that is able to answer your biggest leap of faith: "Will people really upload videos of themselves?" or "Are consumers willing to pay to have groceries delivered?" A new way of looking at product development, even for mature businesses. A brilliant book, plain and simple.
Warren Berger, a very thoughtful man, spoke at a big events we produced in Boulder back in 2014. As one reviewer of his fine book put it, "“We know that the art of asking questions is at the heart of discovery in science, philosophy, medicine―so why don’t we extend that power to all areas of our lives?" Indeed.
Tom and David Kelley, the founders of the world-famous consultancy IDEO, coined the phrase "Design Thinking" and deserve a lot of the credit for the spread of human-centered design. A key part of the practice is the sharp and unobtrusive observance of "thoughtless acts." What are thoughtless acts? Maybe not what you think. It's an easy read, heavy on pictures. You'll get it right away.