I just spent the past week collaborating and prototyping with FactoryX and it was a blast!
FactoryX is an experimental organization with the aim of quickly creating many new startups. It's run by Tom Chi (co-founder of GoogleX) and uses rapid prototyping techniques he's honed for years.
The process starts with a core team building and testing several startup ideas per week for a few weeks. Next, they choose the best product of the batch and iteration continues for several more weeks. After a month or so, the product should have stable functionality, users, and a revenue - then it’s spun out to a founding team who continues to grow the company. After the spin-out, the core team begins the cycle again.
Tom invited me to join them for a week of rapid prototyping in the early part of the cycle. On Monday morning we brainstormed ideas and broke out into our the teams for week. My team’s goal was an app for capturing user feedback during field testing (a bit meta) - we named it Didact; it allows observers to take notes and photos, answer survey questions, and then share the notes with the rest of the team.
The FactoryX cadence involves actual user testing on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. I ended up coding Didact in Angular and Firebase (such a great combo!) and finished in time for the other product team to use for capturing feedback when they tested their app. We learned a bunch at the field test and quickly tweaked and added features in time for the second test on Thursday. The feedback was great and we tied up some loose ends on Friday.
I loved the fast pace and it was great to have the app in actual use only 24 hours after ideation. The tight feedback loop was perfect for keeping focused and staying aligned with the users. Everyone at FactoryX is awesome, brilliant, and interesting - I hope to collaborate more with them in the future!