Design & Prototyping

with Devika Patel and Natalie Griffen

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Idea Pivoting

When is the proper time to move onto a new idea?

Devika Patel

Co-founder of Orenda, Stanford Student, Product Designer

Natalie Griffen

Designer, Incessant Doodler, Coffee Lover

Lessons Learned

Fail fast, fail often.

Risks of switching project ideas: time and money spent.

There are certain experiences you gain from each failure that make the sum of everything worth it.


Lesson: Design & Prototyping with Devika Patel & Natalie Griffen

Step #7 Idea Pivoting: When is the proper time to move onto a new idea?

So to me, going somewhere fast enough just means that you are making as much progress as you should be, I suppose. So for example I was working on a healthier bread project. To me, it wasn't moving fast enough and it wouldn't be able to move fast enough just because of certain boundaries that were out of both my and my partner’s control.

For example we would need to get an industrial kitchen. That was just going to take forever. Then you have to go through the FDA. That was a little bit of an interesting case because that project needed to be finished in six months for a class. So because of that time constraint, and because it seemed that it was going to take longer than that six months, then we had to abandon it.

I think that the hardest part about moving to an entirely new branch, maybe a whole other idea, or a spin-off of your initial idea is you feel like you've wasted a lot of time because that thing isn't becoming something. I think it's really easy just to write it off as I failed. That sucks.

In reality you learn things from every project that you do whether it becomes anything or it doesn't. It sounds sort of cliché because all the professors here will tell you that. Fail fast, fail often, all these things. None of us want to fail. Let's be honest. But you still gain something from that experience whether it's more easier testing and you know how to go about it next time to make it quicker. You learn things about that space. You learn something and it's usually something that you can take into that other project that you usually don't initially see.

And when you're moving on to a new project it's so painful to look back at the dollars that you spent on the project before just because again you think, "Not only I wasted time but I wasted money." You're not supposed to waste time or money. So it's a little bit hard. At the same time, again, there's certain experiences that you gain from each success and each failure that make the sum of everything worth it.

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