For this month's Launch Forth Spotlight, we're giving you a look behind the scenes with our Product Owner, Tristan Zimmerman. In this blog, he talks about the fascinating results that came from the community and gives tips on how to stay organized and productive!
What is your professional/personal background that led you to Launch Forth?
My mother has always been a science and computer person. She has degrees in chemistry and math, with minors in Computer Science and History, so having a computer in the house (even if it was cartridge driven and plugged into a TV) was a constant from as far back as I can remember. We even had a connection to the internet when it was just Bulletin Board Systems and Compuserve or AOL. My parents are both wonderful, and my mom has been a huge influence on my own interest in technology and programming.
So moving into programming and software development felt like the kind of fun, empowering puzzle solving my mom had always brought into our lives. I worked at a few businesses and nonprofits running and building websites, and a few agencies, one of which (the venerable Pinball Strategy) brought me to Launch Forth. Launch Forth feels like a natural fit, and it never stops being interesting and exciting.
What is the most fascinating result/product that you’ve seen come out of the Launch Forth community and why?
Although the details are largely secret, the Speedy CT Image Delivery Challenge was a fascinating idea, and the winners were very interesting. I also like that it stretched the platform to focus on software solutions, which hasn’t been a typical use of the platform, and stretched our own understanding of our community.
Why do you think co-creation and collaboration is so important in today’s product development endeavours?
The internet has brought a lot of innovation over the last 30 years—massive increases in the speed of communication, incredible access to information—but I think the diversity of voices and concepts has been one of the most important. Programming requires you to constantly question what you think is set in stone and that endless challenging is a tenant of any technology related science.
Never underestimate the ability of clever and disruptive ideas to come from unlikely places and topple all of you dearly held assumptions. Embrace it, and you will move faster than you could ever imagine.
What advice can you give people about staying productive and organized?
Listen to other people and always assume you could be better at what you are doing. The second you think you have found the ultimate answer you will miss out on the future.
My personal tenants for being organized are to always fight procrastination and to remember that done is better than perfect. If I stress over all of the details, I’ll become paralyzed, and if I finish something a bit early I give myself the time to polish it before I put it out to the rest of the team. Early and done are your best friends—perfect is a myth and a prison.
What is your best advice to new Launch Forth users?
Get your ideas out to the community and start a dialog. There are so many smart people on here that are happy just to give what they know it’s astonishing. Remember that publishing your idea is the point where it begins a life that you probably can’t predict, but will absolutely be carried away by.
Honestly, watching a concept evolve on the platform is a roller coaster, and watching our users grow with it is just personally satisfying. Challenge yourself, be open to new ideas, be giving to others and you will find so much.
And, if you feel like you aren’t finding what you need, please let me know (use that little speech bubble in the bottom right corner of the screen). We want to build tools that help you collaborate and create things you are proud of, so if you’ve got ideas let us hear it. Seriously, thank you for being here, you make all of the work we do worthwhile!