Shining a light in Plato’s Product Office

One of my favorite things about ONA is the session pitch. It is a great chance to wonder, “do I actually have anything to say?” but more importantly “what do I want to learn more about?”

The suggestion box opened recently and I am still thinking about this post from October on the challenges of building great products at legacy news organizations.

Here’s the pitch:

Shining a light in Plato’s Product Office

We can all agree – creating great products requires an understanding of and empathy for our users. That is a core tenet of Design Thinking and all Human Centered Design approaches to product development.

But empathy for users (readers, viewers, customers?) is not enough. The products we develop are an emergent property of the people, processes and cultures of our teams. And creating great products in any organization, especially one with a hundred-plus years of history, requires understanding ourselves as much as it does users.

We will talk about Plato’s Cave, empathy, fundamental attribution error, and the unique challenges of shepherding ideas through the complex web of intra-organizational boundaries, stakeholders, silos and workflows that are typical in modern media companies.