Presented by ProtoPie
I am 100% sure that you have many great ideas. Unfortunately, if they are stuck in your head, they have no value.
An idea in your head is like gold still on the ground. If it is trapped in the walls of the mine, its only value is the potential value. You have to dig it up, take it out and bring it to the surface. You get it above ground, and even at that point, it’s just a commodity. Because what you do next is what determines its true value. Formed in a necklace, gilded on a statue, drawn on wire, its value is how you use it.
So why do we do this to ourselves? We have these nuggets in our brains that we cling to and protect because maybe one day they will be fully formed and ready to share with the world. Good luck.
Or maybe because truly revolutionary ideas are hard to explain, even to yourself maybe. Can you even capture it in words? Is it an image in your head that you have trouble describing? To communicate with others? Is fear? Are you afraid of being judged by the rough mineral of an idea that you get because it is not one of these bright and polished ideas that others claim to have been completed?
Why is it hard? Why is it vulnerable? Why is it personal?
I have thought about this tremendously in the last ten years. What is this friction that keeps good ideas in our brains and is left to die? The more I looked at it and reflected on my own experiences, the more important it became for me. I realized that, without exaggeration, the most powerful ideas to change our world are probably in our collective minds at this time: unexpressed, unexplored and little appreciated.
How much more could we collectively achieve if we could erase this friction? If we could share those ideas more easily, they would add to the “compound ideation” that drives us to advance much more than the imagination of any individual.
So I left Google and set out to reduce the difficulty of expressing and improving ideas. By joining with two Samsung and Naver partners, we started ProtoPie. ProtoPie is our vision of a prototyping tool to help people and businesses understand, communicate and realize their best ideas. It is funny. We create a robust and powerful prototyping tool, although ultimately we are not interested in prototypes. We care about ideas, and we see the creation of prototypes as an integral part of that.
ProtoPie was particularly difficult to explain from the beginning (as many good ideas seem to be). When we first launched the alpha version of the software to investors and the technology community, they assumed that ProtoPie was a visualization tool, something to translate UX design concepts into more tangible visual aids. They saw it as a wireframe application or a piece of animation software. And while he could and can do those things, we always saw him as something else.
We believed that if it were easier to get those ideas and put them in a format for sharing, ProtoPie would be a very effective communication tool. So, instead of exploring how software could be better for the UX design process by showing animations and interactions, we asked deeper questions about linguistics and cognition.
We wonder if language itself was a barrier to sharing our ideas as we imagine them. We think “our words fail to capture our ideas?” So we develop a new language. One that is universal. With ProtoPie, you create prototypes not with a manufactured coding language, but with a simple and intuitive workflow that feels more human than a machine. No matter what language or languages you speak, your prototypes become a universally understandable window in your head. It allows these ideas to be expressed, explored, improved, appreciated and realized more easily.
And today, the technology community does not need any conviction. Thousands of the best designers and thinkers in the world, working in cutting-edge equipment at Microsoft, Google, OnePlus, HBO, BMW and many more, are using our software not only for interaction design and prototyping, but to communicate your ideas and give life to your best ideas.
Eduardo Sonnino, senior designer at Microsoft, told us that ProtoPie has changed the way his team thinks and works. He said that just a few years ago, they would organize presentations of 100 slides to try to explain an idea. Now, he told us, they simply deliver a single prototype built in ProtoPie. That means they spend more time evaluating and improving ideas instead of wasting time simply trying to explain them.
Many of the first major companies to adopt ProtoPie have been technology firms in Silicon Valley. They were already familiar with the UX design, and it was easy to show them the value of ProtoPie. But now, we are seeing the next wave of adoption, and it looks completely different.
In recent years, large and small companies around the world have realized that the design of the user experience is not a technological term. It is more a mindset of allowing your ideas to be changed and improved by engaging the audience to touch, respond and co-create them. And the community is showing us what is possible with ProtoPie.
We are seeing new applications in automotive, manufacturing, health and more. Industries that are so diverse in their needs, but all are finding common ground to understand the value of collaborative ideation. ProtoPie is helping them express their ideas more quickly and effectively. We believe that there really is no limit to the positive impact that it can create and will create worldwide.
ProtoPie itself remains largely a prototype. We are working every day to improve the software. Our approach today, as it always has been, is to make, express and improve ideas more fluidly. Recently, we have launched a new set of tools in ProtoPie that make it the only prototyping tool suitable for creating collaborative prototypes at the enterprise level. We have our ideas about the impact the update will have. But if we have learned something since we started this trip, it is that the community will always take their ideas beyond what they could have imagined.
Is our work done? No, definitely not. There are still some ideas stuck in my own mind that I am trying to express. But what I am sure of is that the tools we are developing are not only going to unlock my own ideas, but also to help you unlock and express yours. As I said, I know you have a lot of ideas that change the world in your head. Now that you can express them, let’s see what they become.
Tony Kim is co-founder and CEO of ProtoPie.
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