Actually while I face time constraints like our other course mates (still have a project presentation this friday hah), I would just like to add that this blog reflection thing has been enjoyable for the most part. Not because I get to write lots of long posts (not really the over zealous class participation type), but because I got a chance to peek into the minds of so many cool people (usually really talented) and see what they have to say. So now what do I have to say…
After contemplating for a few minutes, I think what Ive learnt is expressed most aptly in these phrases:
Keep it REAL
It really applies in everything I have experienced in 3216. From cradle to grave (of an application/idea/product), as long as you are trying to sell it to other people, you have to have a very good idea of what is realistic in terms of the REAL and SPECIFIC problem.
For a while, I did not differentiate the REAL problem from generic problems or rather thoughts that ran through my head e.g. that the world is in a state of moral decline or that we are not spending enough time with our family. Instead when you do enough research and asking around, REAL problems would more likely be things like (correct me if I’m wrong): Ineffective Civics and Morals Education for Primary school children in Singapore. Or The older generation have difficulty connecting with the younger ones due to communicative barriers.
Because it affects everything you do, this must be the most important point that I got out of this module.
Keep it TIGHT
Even if you got the problem right, getting the solution right is a whole different story. So it helps if your solution is simple, clear and to the point.
Forget about trying to get it right the first time, things in the REAL world really arent as simple as solving mathematical problems in the past where there was only ONE correct answer. With real issues, there are usually many players (demographics & psychographics) and factors (environmental, social, political…) and let’s not even start about agenda.
So I guess Ive learnt that solutions need to be digestible. People need to see the link IN THEIR FACE and buy in to your idea NATURALLY. One additional food for thought: Humans are cognitive misers and they will spare no extra thought if it does not make sense to them in the first go (unless they are someone obliged to e.g. your friends, family, teacher)
Keep it YOU
I realized the human factor cannot be underestimated when working on a project. Make sure everyone is literally ONBOARD and seriously challenged to contribute to the vision and direction. Sometimes its not the most efficient way for short term projects but a definite must for anything that hopes to go long term.
I guess most of us would agree that our effort in doing something is proportionate to how much stake we have in it. And its not just about the grades because when you want the best out of someone then he/she really needs to see past the grades lest it makes no sense to work so hard. When you enter the AWESOME zone, people are personally driven because they believe in the idea and the people around them. For many projects including 3216, I have seen the difference in effort put in when people did not see themselves in the project. In short, Idea and Team must come togther.
Life is SHORT. Do what you LOVE.
It almost seems like 13 weeks flew by in a second, but haven’t we all lived long enough to know that our time is short?
I think this 13 weeks should give us a very good idea of how any other 13 weeks would have gone. In a flash. What matters is how you spend it. I am pretty proud and lucky to say that I spent to learning life lessons, meeting inspiring people and doing what I love. I hope everyone can say the same 🙂
Cheers to all my fellow lone nuts!
Through this experience, we have all become even tougher to crack! 🙂