Bite My Tongue

KickStarter Backer Forums

If you have ever been involved in a corporate (or other) structured brainstorming session, you will immediately recognize some of the same structure in the Cetus2 KickStarter product backer forum.

The rule in structured brainstorming is there are no bad or wrong initial ideas. Participants are encouraged to occasionally be as far off-the-wall with suggestions to stimulate new ideas or a different way to look at a present-state condition, which is the target or reason for the brainstorming session.

The really wild ideas can perhaps stimulate a broad line of reasoning toward new and better ideas.

Brainstorming sessions are where the terms “on” or “off” the wall were coined. There is an initial session of writing ideas on note paper which are then literally posted on-the-wall for all to see and discuss. 

Some ideas could be far strange since there are no limits. No one is permitted to bash any ideas as crazy or stupid. After some open discussions regarding everything posted on-the-wall, the really un-doable ones are (by consensus) taken “off-the-wall”. 

So these now become “off-the-wall ideas” which although now gone, may have generated new ideas and new ways to view the mission of the brainstorming session. Thus creating additional doable ideas now added “to” the wall. So off-the-wall ideas are really a good part of brainstorming. They remove creative limitations.

It’s also been called, “Thinking outside the box.”

The brainstorming process is structured but the ideas presented have no limits.

The KickStarter backer forums are similar but different. 

Some really “off-the-wall” product suggestions are posted in the backer forum. Other member responses (like mine) must be carefully written as not to be negative and Troll-like. Probably best not to say anything negative. (Bite my tongue) In the forum, posts there are never taken off-the-wall. They scroll down the page for all to see, maybe forever.

A productive brainstorming session usually involves professional people who are generally have good knowledge of the target subject.

What I see when reading some of the comments in the Cetus2 backer forum, is it is obvious a small percentage of backers have no intimate knowledge of the product they have supported. They just know it is a new-fangled 3D printer with a single nozzle and two filaments.

Instead of brainstorming product development, what happens is a simply a user wish/want dialog being recorded. 

That’s actually perfectly fine, taken in that context. It helps the maker (Tiertime) discover the sophistication of their initial (supporter) customer base.

Should they build a product for the advanced techie or aim for the kids in an eight grade school class?. What is posted in the forum reveals the customer profile they are attracting, their general subject knowledge, and what they expect.

The original Cetus was intended to be a minimalist 3D printer. For minimalist users. Cetus2 is going to need a higher level of user comprehension. Comments in the backer forum will tell Tiertime how much comprehension is available in their customer base… Ha!

Cetus2 is not a “point and shoot” 3D print machine. It is going to need much more customer support than the first Cetus.

I have no misconceptions about what Cetus2 can do. I think however Cetus2 evolves, it will be a great machine for my needs and ability. But I can see that is not totally true for everyone.

I think I will simply sit back and enjoy the show…