I offer a course on Entrepreneurship at guest faculty at XIME. As part of their course project, each student is working on developing their own Google Assistant bots.
Now, one of the typical challenges most run into when it comes to developing their ideas is with “shipping”. People tend to figure out ways to keep working on anything but actually shipping the product and putting it in front of customers. The behaviour is very consistent and can be observed in anything that remotely involves cognitive or creative work. It’s also hard to call out this behaviour yourself since it mostly manifests in disguise — as features to be added or your need to make your product perfect. (FYI: Its neither — and its a skill gap. But more on that later).
An antidote to this in terms of an approach is “Shitty First Drafts” (the first iteration of any project). Over the course of last week, all students were asked to have their first versions submitted to the Actions for Google store. Students were also provided guidance that what is being attempted at this point as a first milestone is to secure that rejection letter from Google. The idea was not to have them worry too much about getting their versions approved and get them to click that Submit button. There were also given weekend as deadline.
Students did go ahead and make their submissions within the stipulated deadline as was their guidance. As rejections mails started coming in the class group on Telegram started becoming active. Something interesting was happening though. Instead of an air of gloom or dejection one would expect when rejections pour in en masse, the mood was one of jubilation and of accomplishment even.
Post after post read Rejected Successfully — not words one would expect to see together in a sentence. The ones that were yet to receive their rejection mails joined in the chorus stating there were eagerly waiting for their rejections to come in and one even remarked “Most awaited” when she finally received it.
If you aren’t having fun, you ain’t doing it right. Everyone was clearly having fun. Something was definitely right about the whole thing and the way it was playing out.
Note: We are midway into our our course. Before the end of the course, the plan is that each student will hack together their MVP’s and have them available in the Actions for Google store as a fully published agent.
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