I can’t publish much about the current project I am working on, but it involves examining and re-thinking urban taxi cab services in Colombia. We are concentrating a lot this week on the experience of physically entering the vehicle, a seemingly small activity that has proven fascinating. We’ve talked to numerous users, heard their stories, and drawn insights into how design might improve their over-all needs in this way or that. But it isn’t until the prototype stage that we realize the importance within the minutiae.
What happens when one enters a taxi. Or a store, an airplane, a home. What are the individual moments, cues, and decisions during the transition from outside…to inside. From independent person to transacting customer. From standing to sitting. Familiarization, mechanics, ergonomics, ownership.
Second by second.
It has been a long time since I have posted anything here. I am finding it is a hard thing to maintain. I’m trying.
A quick catch up. 3 challenging, thrilling, maddening months in Medellín at Polymath Ventures creating a taxi company. From scratch. Much about that here. The night I flew home to New York, a fire destroyed most of my apartment. I had a slime ball for a landlord and after a month of shouting and lawyers, I found a new place to live. And beacuse I gave up my previous office to work in Colombia, I needed a place to work, so I joined Greenspaces in Manhattan. Its a great place for freelancers. Working from home? Time to get serious. Go and ask for Eva. I did some consulting work for new clients. Then I got a car, and took a drive with my girlfriend to Texas, stopping in Louisville, Memphis, Graceland and points West. Horses, whisky, Elvis, the desert. Then a quick and snowy week in the English country side.
In February I reunited with Polymath. So I’m back in Colombia, at our new headquarters in Bogotá, this time for good. Whatever that means.
Ok that about catches us up. No more breaks, buddy.
I’ve been in Medellín for a full week now, but it feels like three. In the span of just five days we have made serious progress towards our goals, and it has been amazing to see the work develop. We’ve split into two teams and have each been tasked with understanding a specific societal sector. One team is examining the financial services sector, while the other, my team, is diving into mobility/transportation. Our next step is to conduct ethnographic research that we’ll use as the building blocks for big ideas.
Above is most of the team I am working with, with the final two members to arriving soon. An incredibly talented group, our home countries span North, Central, and South Americas, and Australia, and our disciplines are as varied. I am humbled to be here among such smart and passionate people making a positive impact in the world, and thrilled to see what comes next.
Inspired by a new assignment abroad, I have decided to get some writing in. I have been meaning to do it for years, but have pushed it off for one reason or another. I’ve blamed the procrastination on the publishing software, or my being too busy, and I’ve spent far too much time searching for that just-right blog theme. But with less than a week before I depart for Medellín, Colombia, the time for waiting is over. It’s time to press go.
That wasn’t so hard.
Medellín, northwest of Bogotá, is where I will call home for the next three months. I’ll be working with Polymath Ventures designing transportation and financial solutions and business tools for the urban middle classes. It’s an exciting project, and I can’t wait to get started.
I’ll be posting regular updates. Stay tuned.