year in review

The 2019 prototyping.work year in review

What a year it has been. In the holidays around Christmas, it all started with an idea. ‘What if there was an Airbnb like platform, but then for practices, you can use to reinvent the way you work’. That idea got me so excited that I bought the prototyping.work domain name, installed WordPress and implemented a listing theme. Since then, I began writing practices and articles to get it all started. 

After a couple of weeks, I had a dozen practices and a few blog posts. But when do we have enough to get the word out? I was very anxious but wrote an article on LinkedIn called ‘The platform I wish I had when I was a Managing Director’. The article got so much positive response. I was so excited that I wrote a dozen more practices. But in a while, I began to notice that it was hard to keep building the community on my own.

In the summer, an important turning point happened. I had dinner with a friend of mine Arie Drost, HR Business Partner at a financial corporate. That evening we were talking about both our ideas. But he got so energetic about Prototyping.work that we decided to work together on the platform. Since that day, it was our platform. 

The 22nd of August was another milestone in our short history. The first open (summer) session and it was a huge success. It was a hot summer day in the Amsterdam Forest. With 7 participants, we had an energetic session. Together with Coen van den Berg, we facilitated  Every participant went home with one or multiple prototypes for their challenge. Want to learn more or join the next session, take a look at the program.

Since that summer day, the number of practices grew quicker than ever. But not only that. The number of site views, social followers and contributions all increased quickly, which we will share later in this post. We even added a newsletter to the mix to bring the inspiration right into your inbox. And most recently we created a Trello Board Template.

Top 5 most favourite practices

We now have over 75 practices. From small but impactful to big and complex. For individuals, teams and whole organizations. We’re adding new ones every week. We asked our community what their favourite practices are. Here is the top 5 from the prototyping.work community:

5. ELMO

This doll ended in 5th place and that’s probably only because he is added so late in the year. A nice discussion took place on LinkedIn about the added value and the respectfulness.

I love this example of a little practice with a great impact in speeding up a meeting. I use ELMO for my client gigs since then and as far as I know, at least 3 teams bought the same doll to speed up their meetings. 

4. Salary transparency

Salary transparency is a much-discussed topic as well. In traditional companies salaries are hidden for the employees, but why? It used to be because the manager has an advantage in the negotiation. But is that still what you are looking for in your company? 

Open up the salaries and equality and fairness will grow in your company. 

3. Stop meetings for a month

Maybe this is the best productivity hack out there. How many meetings did you have last month that didn’t add value to you, your team or the company? What if you something radical. Stop attending those meetings for a fixed period. And evaluate afterwards. Did something break by not attending?

Can you imagine why this is a great productivity hack in potential? You can win so much time for work that does add value. So start with this in January.

2. Receiving feedback is an art

We all love to grow and learn from our peers. One of the ways is through feedback. It’s not always about giving feedback. Start asking feedback, and make an art out of it. 

This practice is in the top 5 because it is the other way around then we use to look at feedback. Start being an artist and ask for feedback.

1. Integrative Decision Making

Making decisions is a necessary part of our daily work. But it doesn’t have to take as much time as it currently does. 

Integrative Decision Making is another view on making decisions. It’s inclusive, fast and decisive. That’s why it’s on the number 1 spot of this years top 5. 

It was tough to make the decision which practises were the best. These are only 5 of the awesome list of practices. Get inspired by these practices or all the others.

Many thanks to our community

From the start, Prototyping.work is a collaborative platform. Everyone can enter new practices, add reviews and collaborate. And we started to grow the community together. 

A special thanks to Paul Walker, Lennard Toma, Oriol Fabregas Pujol, Bruce McTague, Charlotte Vergouwen, Gregory Kinsman-Chauvet, and David van Valkenburg for their contribution to the platform. They helped us grow the community, whether by sharing practices or by sharing them with their network.

We couldn’t have done it without you! 

The numbers

There are so many possible interesting numbers to share with you here. So that is what we are going to do :-). We are proud of what we achieved in 2019 and gives us the motivation to create even more impact in 2020. 

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Total visitors

We surpassed the number of 20.000 visitors this year.

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Average Session time

On average, our visitors were active for 2:18 minutes on prototyping.work. 

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Canvas downloads

The tool to turn your inspiration into a tangible prototype. 

Download the canvas here.

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Total followers

A total of followers on our active channels. Newsletter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter

Lessons learned

Ok, so we had an awesome set of practices and great numbers in 2019. But we have had our learning as well. The current platform is a great foundation for so much more. We had (and have) so many ideas to work on.

  •  Focus on what matters. With so many ideas, it’s tempting to follow every idea that comes along. By focussing on what matters, it was easier to create the right impact.
  •  Putting in the work pays off. Writing practices, sharing on social platforms, creating a worthy newsletter. These things take effort to get right, but that’s all worth it. 
  • SEO is trail and error. Getting found on Google is not an easy task for non-marketeers. We learned that it’s really trial and error.

In 2020 more to come

Last week we had our first ever team meeting to align and take a look ahead. Redefining our purpose and (brand)promise. You will hear more about that as soon as possible. We are planning to share that in a separate post, along with the very cool additional content we are creating. 

We are so excited about what is coming. Follow our newsletter or our Social Channels to stay up-to-date!

We want to hear from you.

We have our ideas, but we are creating this platform together with you. So we want to hear from you. Want would you like to see on our platform. Let us know in the comments below, in our Slack community or via LinkedIn.

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