In Chapter 14 of 17 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, leadership philosopher Bijoy Goswami answers "How Do You Balance Experimentation and Commitment in the Projects You Pursue?" Goswami frames each project in what evolutionary process. He applies a bootstrap model for startup projects as a framework for the process of taking creative ideas from concept to project. Bijoy Goswami is a writer, teacher, and community leader based in Austin, Texas. He develops learning models, including MRE, youPlusU, and Bootstrap, to help others live more meaningfully. Previously, he co-founded Aviri Software after working at Trilogy Software. Goswami graduated from Stanford University, where he studied Computer Science, Economics, and History.
Erik Michielsen: How do you balance experimentation and commitment in the projects that you pursue?
Bijoy Goswami: Experimentation, so I think of that as the evolutionary piece. Where is something in the evolutionary stage and so based on its evolution it needs different things. That’s really the biggest thing I learned from the Bootstrap map, the Bootstrap journey and all that, is yes there’s this particular of this Bootstrap process but if you abstract it out everything goes through an evolutionary cycle, everything is in some state of development.
So, if something is in an earlier stage then I'm going to do much more of, you know, getting feedback and trying lots of things and things like that. When something is in a stage where’s it’s moved out of this experimentation stage and it becomes something more solid and I'm trying to get it out, I'm gonna experiment less, I gonna to now, try to converge down on a way that works across the broad set. So, to me the big difference is where is something in its evolution and then based on its evolution like I was telling about the Orange Sunglass project at the Fusebox festival, which is really – At the end it’s very simple. I have a pair of orange sunglasses I hand them to you, you pick a photographer, you take my iPhone, you go out into the Fusebox space, you take as many picture as you want, be creative, come back, pick a picture, we upload it, we tag and we title the picture that’s the very streamlined process but the way but they way it started was I, I was taking the pictures and I put the sunglasses on someone else and then someone else said let me grab, you know, so in the experimentation stage, in the early stage of deciding what the project was it was like, what do you think about this and everyone had this three cents to put in.
Meanwhile I'm still curating trying to figure out okay lots of different options and ideas, some paths didn’t work then as we did maybe the 20th or 30th picture it found its groove. Now, I can just say, hey, you want to be part of the orange sunglass project, here’s out it works. Whereas before I'm like I'm trying to figure this out, what do you think, how does it, you know, so the modality changed as the thing evolved.