Thursday, October 4, 2007

Fighting weight

My news organization is looking at right-sizing the newsprint paper for the staff it has to produce it, weighed against the hungry demands of the web, an additional effort. I think this is wise. My impulse is to simply say: "Give us the car, let us drive it, we'll adjust as we go." That means that I see this smaller newspaper as a prototype that we will change as we see what works, what doesn't. I took design thinking at Stanford and their problem-solving principles are relevant to the state newspapers are in. There is no guaranteed success. There IS the challenge to try, listen and then adjust. So the commitment that goes into thinking about the new version must be there after it is launched, to listen and adjust and remake the prototype. Fail early and often is what they used to say in that class when encouraging us to throw together rough prototypes and get feedback on them so the next version would be that much better. So, newspapers, how about it?