For this month's Launch Forth Spotlight, we're giving you an exclusive content with our Project Manager, Jason Myers.
What is your professional/personal background that led you to Launch Forth?
I spent my college career at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI studying both mechanical engineering and business administration with a focus on marketing. At the time, I didn’t quite know what I wanted to do in the professional world; I just knew that I was good at math and had a creative marketing mind, too.
After school, I spent about a year working as an engineer for a company that designs and sells induction heaters. From there, I moved to Colorado with the idea of pursuing a more marketing-based career. I spent two years working as a marketing consultant at a newspaper in Boulder before I stumbled upon an opportunity at a startup called Launch Forth. The idea of working in product development always intrigued me, so I made the switch over and hadn’t turned back since!
What’s your role at Launch Forth?
I was initially hired as the Digital Marketing Coordinator and spent about eight months in this role. More recently, I have moved into a Project Manager position and have gained oversight of key accounts such as HP and Local Motors. In essence, I am a massive organizational machine that provides insight on challenges and projects while also keeping our community into their toes and ready to create!
What is the most fascinating result/product that you’ve seen come out of the Launch Forth community and why?
During the first phase of our HP Mars Project, we asked our community for conceptual ideas for what Mars might look like once human civilization was established there. There were some boundaries that we put up, but, for the most part, we left the challenge fairly open-ended to see just how creative our community could actually be. The results were awesome. I wish I could come up with a better adjective to describe the results, but “awesome” truly is a very fitting description. We saw ideas submitted for everything from houses to space-suit clothing to water treatment facilities. It is a true testament to how creative a community is when you give them very few boundaries for a project, and they still exceed your expectations.
Why do you think co-creation and collaboration is so important in today’s product development endeavours?
Designing the perfect product is all about taking user input and optimizing your designs to fit the consumer's’ needs. Often times, this means the designer must go through several different iterations to finally get the look, feel, and performance needed. Co-creation is basically a hack of this process. When you bring together a group of people with different backgrounds and different experiences, you’re essentially creating a machine that can give itself feedback and self-correct based on variable inputs. Although the co-creation process still takes time and must go through its logical progression, there is still something that can be said for its efficiency. Plus, every task is better when you have a friend working by your side!
What tip do you have to get the best experience on the Launch Forth platform?
Ask questions! Not everything on Launch Forth is straightforward. We leave certain parts of projects and challenges open-ended on purpose so that our community members can truly let their imagination and creativity take the lead. With that being said, it is always good to ask any of your questions early and often! There are an unlimited amount of sources on Launch Forth that can be used to point you in the right direction. One of the main sources would be other community members. We’re all in this together, so if you have a question, please post it on our site. You never know who you might strike up a conversation!