Pen and Paper, a topic which I choose to start my writings in the Medium universe. Wish to have this in a funny and attractive way. Will do my best.
Why ? Why am I mentioning them ? Simple, they help me a lot.
I am on my way in bootstrapping a micro SaaS, B2B platform for a segmented market. Demand and flow driven, uniquely serving this 1 particular “user” ( read : company ). FYI, it come up as a rebuild of my previous not-mine platform at my former employer. It built upon Ruby, Rails, MySQL, Ubuntu, and everything related to it.
In many occasions, I found that sometimes, idea come up just like that. I would never expect on getting an idea to build a feature, or solve some issues when I saw a dancing little girl on a mall, waiting for my dinner to get served. Or while I lay my back on an online taxi service and enjoy the bright blue sky.
What crosses my mind ? Something like :
- What if I do this instead of that ?
- What if I use this strategy instead of the current one ?
- What if I go to my DevOps maniac friend and ask him on how to make this works properly in no time ?
- What if the current flow actually bad ?
- What if ….
In other occasions, what lies in front of your eyes sometimes asked you to get solved / fixed / enhanced / upgraded, by the skill you have. I’ve once spend my last 1 hour to search for a park lot, which actually will be lot more lovely if the parking system already told me that there’s no space left. What happen next ? In a bad emotional state, I mumbling : why no one ever try to develop a feature to tell us not to go to the basement parking lot because it already running out of slot… And then, when you share your story, somebody poke you and say : Why don’t you create one ? It would be lovely. I will be the first user if you ever build one. Let me know when I can install it from the playstore
Back to the pen and paper.
I challenge you to do these, ON YOUR GADGET, with a timer running ! :
- write a text, saying : “ideas on critical situation alert”
- draw a simple flow, displaying an input, process, and output
- draw the histories : users, processes, branch, etc
- draw a service oriented architecture in scratch to have this feature inline with the existing others
- list down every individual you should invite to the meeting
- write down the possible date and venue for the meeting
- and anything else you may need to make everything well documented
Great, next, try to do the same with pen and paper.
Can you feel these :
- it saves lots of time
- you can draw / write in any ways you like with having to switch between pen and brush tool
- no battery needed, even electricity-less, but you still need a light of course
- no particular space / desk needed
- and you can add other benefits in using this way
So, in my conclusion, if you’re in this kind of role, or on your way to achieve something which demanding you to be able to do this, make pen and paper your best friends
It never leave my bag, even the smallest one, since. Even if it is only a small printed parking slip, but if you have some ideas written on it, that it is a priceless parking slip.
Standing in a queue ? No problem. On your way of going somewhere ? Pull over a bit. Spend some times to early-documenting what’s crosses your mind, and spend it as short as you can.
So, what’s the use of our gadget ? To take a picture of it, just in case you’re afraid your brilliant idea ruined by a glimpse of coffee. Or taken high by the wind. Haha. What a fantasy…. The many copies you can have, the better.
When you’re on top one day, put your pens and papers in a fancy glassful cabinet. That’s the historical journey…