“-I’m a Zombie..”

“-I’m a Zombie..”

Everytime I see the Sprint commercial I crack up.
I mean who can resist the zombie hipster.. discussion cell phone plans with the Sprint Attendant for the ‘undead.’

Saying, “WoooOOo, let’s not go puttin’ labels on people.”

Then an ear falls off and the jig is up, responding..

“I’m a zombie..”

I’m not sure if it’s the season or we’ve just become obsessed with zombies.. We just watched the movie World War Z, where Brad Pitt saves the planet from a virus that turns 99% of the earth into ravenous super-human zombies-hope I didn’t ruin it for ya! But I mean come on, you know Brad Pitt’s going to save the day, right?

Anyway, I liked the movie, suspending disbelief with all of the great CGI.

But it had a great message about ‘observation’ a very powerful and (in my opinion) under-appreciated Business Analysis Technique.  I mean, it’s a technique which used properly can understand the problem and uncover solutions that may not be readily apparent. As Brad Pitt watches the first encounter with a zombie -he counts the number of seconds it takes for the virus to react and virus to take effect ‘1-2-3-4..9’ finding out that the virus mutates unexpectedly quickly leaving them little chance to find a cure before the entire planet is infected.

I’ve always underestimated the role of this technique of ‘observation’. It’s so obvious, it’s almost counter intuitive. I mean, I can collect (quality) information just through watching? Of course, to understand behavior, we must observe first. All the formal documentation and delivery mechanisms aren’t going to mean anything if we can’t view and interpret what we’re seeing into transferable knowledge that is ‘actionable.’

Of course, it wasn’t until the last scene of the movie that Brad puts all the pieces together, not before his family and literally the entire human race are cornered into Halifax, Nova Scotia. They’re actually thinking of doing a sequel, but how, it will take how many years for the entire world to re-gen!  Anyway, interestingly enough the author of Lean Analytics, Ben Yoskovitz of GoInstant and Year-One Ventures, is from-Halifax-coincidence, I think not.

Just kidding.. I could go into a whole schpill about Empathy, Stickiness and VIRALITY, but I won’t…


The last post based on Tristan Kromers workshop discussed the way in which we get validation for our ‘idea’ fast & faster. And it’s through observation.

How does the potential client, consumer or customer want to feel?

  • what do they look like?
  • where are they found?
  • how do they react to your possible solution?

We should then try and aggregate these little observations into a pool of data that will help us make better decisions based on what we’re learning. There has been a lot of theoretical material left in the Lean Startup, but Laura Klein, Ben Yoskovits and others are totally breaking Startups (or Customer Development) down into bite-sized pieces of observation through either an Analytics and/or Design thinking approach. Both provide the tools necessary to drill down into the whether the (customer) problem or solution are making their way to product/market fit. Putting all the pieces together that Brad Pitt took a whole movie to delivery.

I recently posted a grant request through the Knight Foundation Challenge to create a new learning program called SMART START based on the Irridescent Technovation Challenge. It didn’t make it to the semi-finals, but I’m proud of the ‘pieces’ that came together to make it happen. It was/is a response to “How can we harness data and information for the health of communities?” proAM Labs project was titled..

Local ‘actionable insight’ improving outcomes for you, your healthcare provider(s) and your community 

I’m still proud of it..

If you’re interested in helping with a project like this, please comment, share it, move it forward. This type of program has legs for it’s ability to move education and learning forward through experiential learning. Our program will take SMART Goals (or Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound Goals) and lead you through a Lean Startup approach to organizational development where you maximize validated learning by minimizing wasted time.

If your interested in helping with a project like this, please comment, share it, move it forward.

Frequently used words
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