It's a book about improv but it's also the most insightful thing I've ever read about human social behavior. Even if you have no interest in acting, it will help you understand yourself and others.
I think it had to do with making people at ease.
"Is my partner having a good time": Make your partners look good. That is usually a good idea in any team.
"Find the earliest end". That would mean don't ever maintain an old product because there's nothing interesting in it...
"Yes and" principle: you accept the ideas that your fellow players introduced and build on top of them. For example, "Backend moved their data store to a novel distributed document store they read about on Twitter -- Yes, And we'll let the frontend run in a JS-emulated Browser-in-a-Browser!". I see that being applied, but I'm not sure it's good advice.
"Find the earliest end" is about keeping ideas flowing for creativity's sake. There is only so much mileage out of an idea before it becomes stale (exceptions withstanding [skip to about the 1 minute mark]). The earliest end isn't permanent either. Troupes and groups revisit ideas all of the time.
"Yes and..." doesn't mean that every idea needs to run its course at the detriment of the group. It means to explore the idea to see if it leads anywhere fruitful. If it doesn't, bail. The Office showcases this where Michael pretends to have a gun during an improv group. It ruins the flow of everyone else's idea, because his idea has a clear, expected ending. It's OK to see where a fresh-faced dev's idea might take the project. That doesn't mean they have creative control.
The framework shown in the blog isn't meant to be a "step by step" guide to building product. In fact, this framework isn't even always followed in improv. And to be honest, the improv analogy isn't essential to communicate the lessons either (to build with focus etc.)
It's just a fun comparison, and I think you get a better appreciation of both crafts from it :)
But I'd also say "I'm sorry if the post made you feel this way" comes off as passive-aggressive - which I don't think was your intent just an unfortunate choice of words. Ultimately readers, particularly on HN, have their guard up at all times because of the prevalence of dark-patterns in startups and so even if OPs impression was mis-applied here it was still warranted in general.
Typically, they consisted of a beer-bellied "true blue" Aussie, nominally the owner/founder of the company, yelling at the camera about whatever product that his company sold. Fast cut to lots of pictures of stuff for sale. End. Genius
> given the subject matter I have to think of Rick and Morty's 'Ants-In-My-Eyes Johnson' skit, itself the product of an improv session.
Yes, and the Interdimensional Cable bits//episodes are them getting stoned and riffing, then animating.
Source: have been high
What these companies may have is an ability to switch from one "base reality" to another, depending on what's successful. This article leaves that out of the picture.
Surprising, for someone who's an acolyte of improv. Really, the most beautiful pieces are the ones where even the performers have no idea where it's going to end up.
NOT surprising for someone who misunderstands both comedy and business.
You also don't need some 'perfect' base reality before you find some game. An improv show would be pretty boring if the characters were going into unnecessary detail about themselves, before finally finding something funny. In fact, you want to be establishing your base reality as fast as you can, with only the needed details, to leave more time for the game.
I think you're spot on that the most beautiful pieces are unexpected. I think that's a key thing that makes improv so beautiful. This is what you get by 'exploring' and 'heightening' the game, and I touched on that in the post. By building on each other's ideas with some kind of focus, you're able to go places no one expects.
If you are instead thinking like "I'd love to do something with electric cars", you are more likely to pitch expertise and possibly something less specific to try and feel for where the real value might be.
Plenty of people already know a gap in the market and plenty of others think that just because they like their idea, a market will magically appear. I have worked for both.
1) Too long
2) Mentioning specifics that are irrelevant at this stage
3) Not targetting the pitch at the audience (e.g. investors, potential customers)
4) Complicated or attention grabbing slides (unless that is specifically what you are doing for your pitch)
I also think there are generally easy solutions to these that most people can use.
1) Video your pitch and watch it back. You will spot things that you can't see in the 1st-person
2) Get someone you trust to pretend to be a certain persona to match your target audience (the closer to that job they are, the more likely they will understand) and ask them for feedback
3) Remember that not everyone is interested in what you are selling so if you can, politely/briefly ask your audience if the pitch made sense
4) Watch other good pitches and ask yourself what it was that made it work e.g. charisma, slide design, making the point clear, contrasting with competitors etc.
Canva: Design tools are made for designers -> Non designers have design needs too. Makes sense.
Coinbase: Some people say crypto is the future -> Everyday people will want to buy crypto. Also makes sense.
Eesel: It's hard to find docs -> People often just refer back to docs. What?
Looks like a nice product though!
I think it's roughly:
"It's hard to find docs -> A filter on your browser history helps a lot"
Eesel looks great. I love simple, focused tools.
I'll be very curious to know how are you guys going to monetize.
If you're curious, we're keen to monetise with a 'Team' plan eventually. We intend to keep everything that's there today free.
Off-topic: This site is blocked at my work. Classified as "adult". :-/ Anyone know why? :-)
Eesel looks great :)