Prototype iteration

Fail fast is a phrase that I like. It is the idea that sometimes the best way to develop something is to start trying out ideas. It isn’t a replacement for thinking and planning but instead an acknowledgment that often we can learn more by failing than we can by succeeding. This concept is a personal philosophy of mine. Another is that what is being called failure here is, in reality, just a step in the process. Real failure only happens when we give up. But I digress.

I used the fail fast technique to create my proof of concept prototype. My 3D printer ran 24/7 for months. Sometimes my designs were just wrong, and I’d needed to step back and try another approach. Others, I should have measured twice before starting a 28-hour build. But none of that matters. Being wrong is just a temporary state and can quickly be corrected.

What does matter is being able to see how something is wrong. Sometimes that is obvious. Sometimes it requires a lot of effort. The first picture of this post shows my current stack of failed designs. I learned something valuable from every design in that stack. I’m quite proud of that stack. It represents months of my time. It also motivates me because I can see where I started, how far I’ve come, and far I can take Apothewell.

My goal for Apothewell is to create a product that will help people who are struggling to manage an overwhelming amount of medication. Failing fast is one of the tools I’m using to reach that goal.

Daniel Sharp
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