“Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” – John F. Kennedy
Iterative Design is an agile operating system for life: smart, fast, lightweight, responsive. From work to play to health and happiness, Iterative Design promotes the behaviors necessary to harness the opportunities of continuous improvement.
1. There is no certainty, only opportunity
Nothing is a given. Good health. Fulfilling careers. Uplifting relationships. All must be earned via courage, persistence, and urgency.
2. Steering > aiming
Aiming is guessing at an unknown future. That’s foolish. Be smart and steer, regularly checking progress and adjusting course.
3. Simplicity is everything
Maximize the amount of work not done. More ‘stuff’ is more waste, which is both pointless and harmful. Stay nimble by keeping it simple.
4. Learn by doing
Experience is the best teacher. So stop whining and making excuses. Go do something. Learn from it. Invite feedback. Evolve. Repeat.
5. Promote rework and reuse
Kill fast what doesn’t work. And exploit often what does. Never stop reworking, rewriting, and readjusting your approach.
6. Invest in emergence
Don’t fool yourself into thinking you know all the answers upfront. Allow them to emerge over time. Set up conditions in which to catch them.
7. Continuous improvement is king
Success in anything doesn’t come all at once. Incremental growth is required. Continuous improvement builds unstoppable momentum.
8. A sustainable pace is a smart pace
No human or machine can operate at 100%. Without excess capacity a system shuts down. Avoid maxing out to keep a sustainable pace.
9. Change = stability
Seth Godin says that “playing it safe is risky.” Similarly, embracing change breeds stability because change is constant. Leverage it well.
10. Embrace the art of possible
Don’t point out what cannot be done. Assume the problem can be solved. Then move quickly towards a solution by thinking without limits.