1:10:100 principle

8 06 2011

Maker Faires and Diet Coke+Mentos are two of my favourite things. I also like reading techblogs like bOINGbOING.

Today all three of those things came together into one interesting lesson about “innovation as it applies to performance art”. LINK

The mentos and coke viral video producers Eepybird were speaking at a Maker Faire event and explained the way their creative process pans out. It turns out that what looks devilishly simple on the videos is actually the result of many hours of preparation and hundreds of previous attempts. They state that they work by a 1:10:100 rule:

It takes one experiment to spark a concept. By experiment 10 one should have fleshed things out and have defined a direction. By experiment 100 one hopes to have found something that is sublime… LINK

I’m sure everyone knows about their work with cola and mints but they are more than just that. I really like the stuff they’ve done here with post-it notes. And now the “experiment number X” bits in both this video and the cola and mint videos make more sense…

Later on in the same article it is reported that they have four principles that drive their hundreds of experiments:

1) seek variation – explore the possibilities.

2) be obsessive – keep focused until one finds something special.

3) be stubborn – don’t give up until you work through the problems.

4) set limits and work within them – unconstrained innovation meanders and wonders, only by setting limits does it force one to dive into the depths of a concept. LINK

If you like this idea you might be interested to read about what Steve Spangler’s motto is.

And I wonder if we took a straw poll how many of us could say we explore things 100 times before we perform them and how many of us have guiding principles that we follow? Personally, I’m off to do some more experimenting and to write a motto.

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