Product Dev Friday

PDF is the latest craze (amongst my friends and I) that you’ve gotta know about! Participating is super simple: You plan ahead and get everything from your day-to-day responsibilities done by noon on Friday. Then you spend Friday afternoon coming up with ideas for products along with plans to execute on those ideas. Beers are optional, though recommended. You can play alone, or with friends.

The loose criteria:

  1. Either solve a problem YOU have, or create a solution that enhances YOUR existing experiences.
  2. It has to be a quickly actionable product. This is not a place for business planning, spreadsheets, and research. Go after weekend projects. Paper and pen only for planning.
  3. If this is your first time at product dev friday, you have to come up with a product…

Plan for one of the following outcomes:

  1. You come up with a list of ideas and one really stands out as something you want to jumpstart over the weekend.
  2. You come up with some ok ideas, but nothing that’s ready to move on. You save the list and keep them around for possible improvement later.
  3. No valuable products are invented that evening, but you had a few drinks with people and ended the week with a creative exercise.

Last weekend, my team used PDF to brainstorm for Battlehack, a hackathon hosted around the world by PayPal/Braintree. We ended up winning third place and came up with a really awesome idea called Almost Home, a service that lets people who can’t get packages at home find (and pay) someone witin walking distance who can.

The weekend before that, I launched a concept called Cartegram. It’s a live action game for people who enjoy wandering around their city and snapping photos of interesting things.

And the weekend before that PDF resulted in a concept around disposable (ephemeral) blogging. The basic idea being that a blog would dissapear unless people contributed small amounts of money to keep it alive. Something totally nominal, but nonetheless an amount that would give it more value. We scrapped it as being too complex, but still were happy with the idea.

Start your own Product Dev Friday

I encourage you to participate in your own version of PDF. It doesn’t have to be high intensity or something that must yield results. It’s just a great way to spend your Friday afternoon. Worst case scenario you’ll exercise your brain. Best case scenario, you’ll come up with a really solid side project or side business that gives you a great way to spend your free time.