Why do we prototype?

Why do we prototype?

  • prototyping
  • ford
  • mobility
  • semi-final
  • iterating
  • innovating
  • community
  • feedback
  • learning
  • customers

It’s been a very exciting couple of weeks on the Mobilize New York community as we brought the Submissions phase to a close, invited the community to vote on their favourites, and evaluated all of the ideas and proposals submitted before the March 23 deadline. And then yesterday, on April 10, we announced our 20 semi-finalists across our two challenges. Congratulations to all of you that have made it this far! To those of you that missed out I’d encourage you to stay part of our community to help your fellow innovators develop their ideas and bring new mobility solutions to the streets of New York.

Yesterday marked the start of the three-week Prototyping phase. The 20 successful idea and proposal owners who got through to the semi-final now have just 18 days to refine their submissions and add that extra bit of polish before the Select and Review phases determine which idea or proposal owners will graduate to the Mobilize New York Grand Final on May 10.

What is prototyping?

So what do we mean by prototyping and why do we think you should do it? Prototyping means different things to different people, but to us at 100%Open prototyping means creating ‘rough drafts’. To expand on that a little, it means rapidly building a model and/or a simulation of an idea that approximates its appearance and/or experience. We do this to gain meaningful feedback from potential customers as quickly as possible. Prototyping in a rough and ready manner allows you to test, play with and validate an idea before a single line of code is written or a single pixel pushed.

How does prototyping help?

Five reasons why you should prototype your idea:

  • Prototyping de-risks an idea before committing to larger investment (in time or money)
  • It improves ideas by requiring the innovator to regularly iterate in response to new learning 
  • It encourages innovators to fail smartly, quickly and cheaply
  • It allows innovators to engage directly with potential customers and wider stakeholders
  • And ultimately it helps build evidence that an idea is good and will work, which builds confidence and gains buy-in

A solution for New York

The Mobilize New York challenge aims to help the transportation needs of all New Yorkers and the needs of those visiting The Big Apple. For our semi-finalists, prototyping their idea is key to ensuring that it meets those needs and that it satisfies the criteria it will be judged on. By prototyping and seeking feedback, our semi-finalist teams can refine their ideas and increase their chances of delivering a successful and sustainable solution.

Next steps

The next steps for all of our semi-finalists is to continue to improve and iterate their idea. On April 19 the semi-finalists have the opportunity to attend a prototyping workshop in New York where they will learn a selection of prototyping techniques and have the chance to meet other innovators, as well as experts from Ford and our challenge partners. By prototyping and seeking feedback before April 29 they can refine their solutions and increase their chances of making it through to the Grand Final on May 10.

Until then, a final tip for all the semi-finalists that has served me well throughout my design career…

“Don’t fall in love with your own idea.”

-- Murray


Murray Sim is the Design Director at 100%Open

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