WordPress Personal Digital Home, Part 4: Baby Steps

Baby Steps: “What About Bob”

“Baby Steps” is the theme for today’s post. To start things off right, and because it’s Friday, we will first look to the wisdom of Bob Wiley and Dr. Leo Marvin, in a short clip from “What About Bob?”

Taking Dr. Marvin’s advice, for developing the WordPress Personal Digital Home (PDH), we will “set small, reasonable goals for ourselves, one day at a time, one tiny step at a time.” I picked the problem to work on in yesterday’s post, now I’ll be taking one tiny step at a time while working on that problem.

Baby Steps: Jessica Livingston

The first baby step Jessica Livingston recommends, although she doesn’t use those exact words, is to “make something people want” (MSPW). Nothing else matters if you don’t, that’s why MSPW is the baby step Jessica and Y Combinator stress over and over to startup founders.

“…Nothing else you do will matter if you are not making something people want. You can be the best spokesperson, the best fundraiser, the best programmer, but if you aren’t building a product that satisfies a real need, you’ll never succeed…

And to know what they want, you have to understand them…Talk to your users as much as you can, even if that means doing things that don’t scale early on. I don’t know of a single case of a startup that felt they spent too much time talking to users…”

In the clip below from earlier this month, Jessica talks about MSPW and other ways to not fail at startups (video is 17 minutes long).

Many of our earliest baby steps will be taken with our customers to ensure that as we develop the PDH, we’re making something people want.

Baby Steps: Cathedral & Bazaar

In his book about working at Automattic, “The Year Without Pants,” Scott Berkun references the canonical essay about software development, “The Cathedral and the Bazaar.” Scott indicates that if we develop the WordPress PDH like a cathedral, we’ll “invest time in making a big masterful plan,” whereas if we develop it like a bazaar, we’ll “start immediately and figure it out as [we] go.” The Automattic preference leans strongly toward the bazaar approach. While the basic concept for the WordPress PDH is being developed and the core team is coalescing or being recruited, I’m doing cathedral stuff because my minimal coding skills don’t allow me to start building the PDH. Before getting too much into cathedral details, though, I can do some bazaar baby steps to help define what people want in terms of a personal digital home.

[Those bazaar baby steps I’ll be doing are definitely different from the PMB bizarre baby steps in the video below…]

Baby Steps: WordPress PDH Events

One of the early bazaar baby steps will be an event to work with users figuring out what the top things are that they want in a digital home. My plan is to work with several different user demographics that are most likely to be early adopters of PDHs. This event will be focused on what tools, services and apps they use in their digital life and will involve discussions about what a starting point for that digital life might look like.

In the early days of defining the PDH basic concept, there will be frequent events and interactions with users to confirm that as the concept develops, we’re still making something people want. As Jessica said, “talk to your users as much as you can.”

My next tiny step will be writing the launch announcement for the WordPress Personal Digital Home.


Other posts related to IndieWeb and Personal Digital Home

WordPress: Default Personal Digital Home (PDH)
WordPress Personal Digital Home, Part 2: In The Year 2036
WordPress Personal Digital Home, Part 3: Pick A Problem
WordPress Personal Digital Home, Part 4: Baby Steps” — today’s post
IndieWeb Summit 2017 & WordPress PDH
Coder Cooperative June 20th Meetup: IndieWeb And Personal Digital Home
IndieWeb and PDH: Talking Points For Coder Cooperative June 20 Meetup
Day-After Report: June 20 Coder Cooperative, IndieWeb & PDH


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