free time.

or how I learned

to stop blocking and

love the flywheel

 

Ryan Price

@liberatr

this is a talk about

improv comedy.

intro

NO!

it's about how

working with others

makes the world better.

we'll talk about

improvisers

and their trust

in each other.

we'll talk about

programmers

and their evolved

collaboration skills.

we'll talk about

communities
and how they

encourage collaboration.

we'll talk about

free time
and how every minute

can make a difference

in the world.

when you have

a mission,

even tiny pieces of

free time matter.

yes, and...

chapter I

it's not about jokes.

it's the

STORY

stupid!

the stage is set.


the lights come up.

what is yes and?

Becky

is doing something.

enter Richard.

"looks like
these little pieces of

alien skull and bone

aren't going to

sweep themselves.

Richard:

"pick up a broom
you
lazy bum!

this is a bigger mess

than last year

up at Loch Ness!

Becky:

in those
three quick moments

they established

a whole world

of possibilities.
 

"Yes, and..." the

most important
concept of improv.

if one player

makes an offer,
it is the truth.

Yes, and...

the next player

must build on the reality in the scene.

Yes, and...

nothing is impossible; you are hardly self-aware.

ideas just "flow".

this is a pure expression of

human creativity.

the first few offers

create a set of possibilities to explore.

she

is sweeping

Becky makes an offer:

"looks like
these little pieces of

alien skull and bone

aren't going to

sweep themselves.

Richard says yes, and offers:

"pick up a broom
you
lazy bum!

this is a bigger mess

than last year

up at Loch Ness!

Becky says yes, and offers:

whatever happens
is built upon

those first few

moments.

nobody knows
what will happen,

but we have

the bones of

a great scene.

we create a
virtuous circle

that can build

momentum

in the scene.

VIRTUOUS CIRCLE
Sweeping
Aliens
Last Year

improv offers
gain meaning

with the support

of other offers.

"stop moving your
arms like that,

we're fathoms

beneath the ocean

in scuba gear.

Richard says NO, and offers:

Richard is
blocking
Becky's offer.

if blocking

happens later,
we lose more
momentum.

the virtuous circle

is broken.

one of the only ways

to fail at improv

is to block or forget

your partner's offer.

listening is

essential to success

in an improv scene.

this idea lives

in many places.

VIRTUOUS CIRCLE

it is all over

modern culture.

VIRTUOUS CIRCLE

it is in the best

computer programs.

VIRTUOUS CIRCLE

it is in the world's

great communities.

VIRTUOUS CIRCLE

it is even here at

this convention.

VIRTUOUS CIRCLE

yes, and
retweet this

chapter 2

you can say

"yes, and..."

to an idea

nearly

all communication

is yes-anded

if I learn something

it is only

useful to me.

if I teach something

it is now

useful to us.

"He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine;

Thomas Jefferson

"as he who lights

his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me."

Thomas Jefferson

when more people have an idea,

it can be

more valuable.

exploration

travel can

bring ideas from

other lands and

other people.

apprenticeship

study with a mentor

spreads best practices and speeds the learning curve.

printed + recorded media

reading

spreads ideas across boundaries of time and distance.

distance was once

a hurdle to the
spread of ideas.

virtuous circles

are easier to grow

when distance
is reduced.

large cities

helped bring

minds together

to collaborate.

"you got
peanut butter

in my chocolate!

Reese's Cups Guys

"The trick to having good ideas is not to sit around in glorious isolation and try to think big thoughts...

Steven Johnson, Where Good Ideas Come From

"... The trick is to get more parts on the table.

Steven Johnson, Where Good Ideas Come From

"embrace serendipity; follow the links;
frequent liquid networks;

borrow, recycle;

reinvent;

Steven Johnson, Where Good Ideas Come From

communities

are great incubators, where people and

ideas bump into

each other easily.

communities devoted to learning

generate new ideas quickly.

universities

PhD Papers

are often created

with the help of

entire communities.

telecommunication

radio and TV shows

can spread ideas

to more people

all at once.

in our lifetime,

new means have enabled new ways

to spread ideas.

sharing online
reduces distance
to near zero.

every time sharing
gets easier

virtuous circles
flourish.

social media

networks and code make sharing PhD papers as easy as sharing cat photos.

blogs and podcasts

amateur publishers share ideas about

subjects they have

a passion for.

TED

 

ideas worth spreading

I can learn from

a TED video,

but sharing it is
 a yes-and move.

"why do you care

so much

if I share?

You may ask:

being exposed to

more new ideas
means our own
projects can be made better.

we have a word for encouraging the unfettered flow

of ideas and information.

we try to encourage a state of "flow", where we say "yes" to each other's

ideas unreservedly.

Brainstorming

listening is also

essential to

sharing and
brainstorming.

you can be listening even when you are not brainstorming.

listening is not the only way to create something meaningful.

sometimes being selfish is still

a good way to

get started.

 

scratching your own itch

and

minimum viable product

chapter 3

computer programming

is not about the code.

it's about

how you use it.

programmers

are optimists.

what separates programmers

and all non-programmers?

given time and

a few lines of code

they can solve

any problem.

programmers believe:

much of the

most-used code

did not start by

trying to solve

big problems.

EBay

a site for buying

PEZ dispensers.

Facebook

a little social network

for harvard students.

Drupal

a site for talking

to friends at college.

small problems

have a lower

barrier to entry

and are

more personal.

if reshaping the world is new to you,

start close to home.

scratching your

own itch

solving personal problems

I want to organize my record collection.

MyTunes™
MyTunes™

just for me.

 

no music store.

 

just organization.

what could it do?

 

what does it need?

MyTunes™

collect.   store.   view.

MyTunes™ features:

with only

three features

it scratches

my itch.

MyTunes™ features:

minimum viable product

MVP

collect. store. view.

the least complicated

way of

scratching your own itch.

minimum viable product
minimum viable product

consider a

wedding cake.

what does it

really need

to be a

cake?

minimum viable product

is a

 

still a cake?

cupcake

minimum viable product

picture a

 

 virtual reality game

 

from the 1990s.

minimum viable product

google cardboard

minimum viable product

which of these

is less

complicated?

MVP

my friend

Damien wants

to organize

his records too.

MyTunes™

I can easily

copy my

code and

give it to him.

MyTunes™

"this program has

only three features?"
collect. store. view.

alphabetize?

make playlists?

MyTunes™
MyTunes™

if he gives

feedback,
I can create
new features.

MyTunes™

once they are written in code,

new features

help both of us.

Darth Vader

"the circle

is now

complete"

the virtuous circle.

in software,
the features

are the ideas.

adding a new feature
to an MVP is
equivalent to

sharing an idea

with all the users.

creating an MVP

starts a

conversation

with the users.

users give

feedback 

and the creator

can respond with

new features.

a feedback loop.

programmer > user > programmer > user

a virtuous circle.

a feedback loop.

when a programmer
adds a feature

from user feedback
it is a yes-and move.

without a healthy

feedback loop,
you won't get
many new users.

without new users,
you won't get
new ideas, nor the

same innovation.

listening is

essential to

publishing your

MVP.

a big difference between

improv and code

is the "undo" button.

one programmer
who listens

can make
something amazing.

two programmers
working together

can make
something more.

the flywheel effect

chapter 4

MyTunes™

what if

Damien can
also write

code?

working together
we can share ideas

collaboratively.

he can become

more than
just a user.


open source software
MyTunes™

Damien could create

integrated programs
or other features and plugins.

MyTunes™

each plugin is
another MVP
with another

feedback loop.

more than one

feedback loop
will add utility

by orders of magnitude.

a flywheel effect

is created when

two feedback loops

support each other.

a flywheel effect

means the wholes

are greater than the

sum of their parts.

the Harold

Flywheel Effect

entirely improvised three-act play;

new acts are based on earlier scenes.

the Harold
the Harold
Scene A
Scene B
Scene C
Scene A
Scene B
Scene C
Act I
Act II
Act III

improv offers

gain meaning

with the support

of other offers.

the Harold

improv scenes

gain meaning

with the support

of other scenes.

the Harold

acts in a Harold

gain meaning

with the support

of other acts.

the Harold

human actions

gain meaning

with the support

of other actions.

Flywheel Effect

possibilities are more connected as people become more connected.

Flywheel Effect

communities

critical mass of like-minded people

Flywheel Effect

each new person
in a community
brings with them
new ideas.

people and events
act as catalysts
to flywheel effects.

Flywheel Effect

GNU/Linux

Flywheel Effect

podcasting

Flywheel Effect

open space

Flywheel Effect

BarCamp

Flywheel Effect

DrupalCamp

and

DrupalCon

Flywheel Effect

Fringe Festival

and

Canadian Fringe Touring Circuit

Flywheel Effect

coworking

Flywheel Effect

farmer's

market

East End Market, Artegon, Grandma Party

Flywheel Effect

48 hour

film fest

Flywheel Effect

game jam

Flywheel Effect

Startup

Weekend

Flywheel Effect

TED

and

TEDx

Flywheel Effect

Kickstarter

and

Kicking it Forward

healthy communities like these have
feedback loop
s

at their roots.

listening is

essential

to all of these

flywheel effects.

flywheel effects

also start when you

scratch your own itch

and share the results.

how do all of these
communities
 create so much value?

You ask again:

they start as

passion projects,

by people with

an itch to scratch.

free time
to scratch your own itch

Flywheel Effect

cognitive surplus

Clay Shirky

moving to big cities
and specialization
created a surplus
of free time.

Cognitive Surplus

new communication
tools enabled new
ways of organizing,
new communities
of collaboration.

Cognitive Surplus

"diverting even a tiny fraction of time from consumption to participation can create enormous positive effects.

Clay Shirky, Cognitive Surplus

Yelp

or

Amazon

without user reviews?

Cognitive Surplus

Meetup.com

or

OKCupid

without other users?

Cognitive Surplus

Flickr

or

Instagram

without other people's photos?

Cognitive Surplus

each post is
equivalent to an

offer in improv
that you can say
"yes-and" to.

each offer is

an investment

of time, totaling

billions of hours

every year.

"why should we improve the bottom-line of

these companies?"

you may ask:

“If you are not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.”

MetaFilter user blue_beetle:

“If you are not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re a contributor adding value.”

Drupal user liberatr:

“The opposite of play isn’t work.

It’s depression.”

Jane McGonigal, Reality is Broken

if you had to be

paid for all your contributions to society, would

the world improve any faster?

the future

conclusion

the flywheel effect

will change

the world

as we know it.

post-industrial society

will be characterized

by these movements.

"The forces in play in the Earth system are astronomically massive and unimaginably complex.

Stewart Brand,
Whole Earth Discipline

"Our participation has to be subtle and tentative, and then cumulative in a stabilizing direction.

Stewart Brand,
Whole Earth Discipline

the millenial takeover

has little to do

with being a

special snowflake.

the millenial takeover

has everything to do

with being a

valid contributor

in the world.

"a tough new [business] rule is emerging:

Harness the new collaboration or perish.

Don Tapscott & Anthony Williams,
Wikinomics
Phone Trees

sharing information
among a
community
hierarchically.
 

Phone Trees >> Ushahidi

sharing information
among a network
of communities
with no hierarchy.
 

LEGO

creating worlds

with your friends

in your living room.

LEGO >> Minecraft

creating worlds

with your friends

around the globe.

Encyclopedia

one source of

information that

may get updated

annually at best.

Encyclopedia >> Wikipedia

multilingual source of information that

gets updated

minute-by-minute.

collaboration is a skill, which can be strengthened with repeat use.

certain people are better at setting up flywheels.
why?

"...the magic number for true expertise: ten thousand hours.”

Malcom Gladwell, Outliers

our new generation
has created many

collaboration experts.

the flywheel effect

does not occur

in a vacuum.

what can a billion experts accomplish if they work together?

"how does this
apply to me?"

you again!

think about all

of the free time

in the known universe.

there are billions
and billions of
potential
contributors.

if you operate in
a closed manner,
you exclude
so many possible
new offers.

there are challenges

to face, but

working together

makes overcoming

them much easier.

if you leave all
the problem solving
up to "them", you
forgo your chance
to chime in later.

unless you decide to
scratch your own itch

and share the results.

how will you

spend your

free time?

free time.

community

code and

creativity

 

Ryan Price

@liberatr

www.slides.com/ryanprice

impro

Keith Johnstone

cognitive surplus

Clay Shirky

reality is broken

Jane McGonigal

where

good ideas come from

Stephen Johnson

the starfish and

the spider

Rod Beckstrom and Ori Brafman

the power

of pull

John Hagel, John Seely Brown, Lang Davison

the innovator's dilemma

Clayton M Christensen

the lean

startup

Eric Ries

free time.

community

code and

creativity

 

Ryan Price

@liberatr

www.slides.com/ryanprice

Free Time - Community, Code and Creativity

By Ryan Price

Free Time - Community, Code and Creativity

This talk brings together concepts from theatre, urban planning and software development in less time than reading your Facebook wall. https://soundcloud.com/liberatr/free-time-how-i-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-love-the-flywheel

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