In this month's Launch Forth Spotlight, we're giving you a look behind the scenes to show you what it takes to be successful on Launchforth.io and how to have fun along the way. Our Co-Creation Manager, Samuel Buschhorn, knows the platform better than anyone else out there. With his advice, you'll be able to get the most out of your engagement to take your designs to the next level!
What is your professional/personal background that led you to Launch Forth?
Throughout the my professional career, I’ve worked in materials research, for industrial applications, at various institutions around the globe. During this time, I worked with a lot of emerging technologies around carbon nanotubes, graphene, polymer composites and some metals. I also had an overlap into aeronautical applications at one point in time.
While the research was interesting, I found myself being drawn to actual products and the intricacies of innovation processes. I found Local Motors and Launch Forth (and the community) were approaching a lot of common product development issues in a better way than conventional wisdom would, so I decided to join!
Having been a Launch Forth community member before you were hired here, how do you think someone can get the most out of their LF experience?
It really depends on who you are. Are you a student and perhaps a little frustrated with digesting loads of abstract lectures? Would you like to know what you need to focus on to make it in a certain field?
Team up with an expert in any of our challenges and you’ll have ample opportunity to look behind the scenes.
Are you an established designer who wants to stay abreast of developments and perhaps expand into a more conceptual or technical field?
Give thoughtful critiques and you can expect to receive the same. Maybe you’ll raise some eyebrows!
Be sure you fill out your profile accordingly and and let people know how they can help you. Follow similar/relevant members and have users mention you so you can bring your experience to bear effectively.
What is the most fascinating result/product that you’ve seen come out of the Launch Forth community and why?
Honestly, this is a hard one to answer, as I can’t boil it down to an overall winner. There were many extremely good ideas in the Airbus Cargo Drone Challenge. Quite a few of the most intriguing ideas were outside of the rules of the competition, though. I’d have loved to pursue some of them a little longer, even with a minimal budget or as community driven projects.
What advice can you give people about staying productive and organized?
Productivity depends too much on the kind of work and person to give failsafe general advice.
Some general rules I live by, though, are: help each other and keep your eyes on the priorities.
I generally stay organized by taking notes and formulating itemized to-do lists.
What is your best advice to new Launch Forth users?
Explore the platform for a couple of hours. Explore ideas, entries, or comments you find insightful and follow a couple of members. Feel free to reach out to us and give us feedback, too! A fresh set of eyes are always valuable to us.
Also, make sure you fill out the relevant parts of your profile with some detail, so that people know how they can help you and how you could help them. Don’t hesitate to mention (@...) users or staff and keep an eye out for new challenges. Once a challenge goes live, you’ll know whom to invite to a team or sign up with, and you’ll work much faster than you would by yourself. Also, consider taking on a supporting role in someone else's team. This will then incentivize that community member to help you out down the road.
I strongly recommend to “work out loud” in a few places on our site so other users, who could add an important piece to the puzzle, have a chance to find you.
Lastly, generously acknowledge inspiration you may have picked up on the platform or elsewhere. We’re here to see good ideas put to use, and being fair and open will help you and others get ahead.