A successful prototype blends vision with reality, magic with practice. Just as good exhibit development begins with the story being conveyed, good product development begins an understanding of the problem to be solved. Both depend on listening, understanding, empathy and curiosity. Good products don’t start with the solution, they end there. They start with the proper understanding of the problem.
Over my career, the problems I have solved have ranged broadly, whether to bewilder a visitor to a spy-themed night club, to teach a child how a laser works, to remotely control a camera’s position. In every case knowledge of the problem leads the way and the solution follows.
One of the most important skills in my quiver is my recognition of the limitations of that quiver of skills. I know when to say I Don’t Know, and I know what to do about that. Fielding a team of talent to tackle problems is paramount, as is openness to learning new fields and skills to overcome challenges.