Announcing Loops and Cycles

A weekly mailing list with a simple focus: how organizations turn idea-stuff into live and successful software products — and how we can help ours do it better.

Hello, friend of DRC —

If you joined in before March 31st 2024, you had signed up for DRC News: a newsletter on research, product development, and occasional beverage-oriented side quests.

I'm happy to announce that DRC News is now Loops and Cycles, a weekly mailing list with a simple focus: how organizations turn idea-stuff into live and successful software products — and how we can help ours do it better.

If that's not for you, unsubscribe from the link at the end of this email.

Loops and Cycles is a weekly provocation

Like DRC News, Loops and Cycles is for forward-thinking research, product, and design people.

Its scope is necessarily larger than research alone. The fundamental problem we're grappling with — how groups of people make good things, together — transcends any individual discipline. Fittingly, the prior long-form essay External Loops vs. Internal Cycles inspired the name for this new weekly mode.

Visualizing our ideas is a crucial means of expression, and low fidelity is a great start. Every week's Loops will carry a simple sketch no fancier than the ones below:

Loops and Cycles takes a larger and more exploratory perspective

Each edition will be a moderately small and self-contained idea. A provocation you can use for inspecting or adapting your own practice. Something you can discuss with your team and see how it falls. Or a reason to hit reply and write "I think you're off the mark there, mate."

Loops and Cycles vs. long-form essays

There are some beastly pieces on the site, like Waves and Structure. They tend to come in over 2000 words, with reasonable if slightly-overwrought companion images.

In January, I aimed at a weekly long-form cadence. It worked for the first few weeks. Then travel began, projects spun up, and jiu-jitsu training resumed. Quality and motivation declined. I hadn't uncoupled the updates of DRC News from the long-form essays: both slowed dramatically.

With Loops, I uncouple exploration from the well-crafted long-form essay. A forced cadence helps to bring ideas into a discussable shape. The larger ideas can sit longer on the vine, until they're ready:

"When a poem is ripe, it will drop free. You can see that I’m imitating the laws of nature." (Mallarmé, Selected Letters 66)

I am not writing at Mallarmé's level — nor have I died and been born again with the gem-encrusted key to my final spiritual casket — but I, too, have come to recognize that certain ideas ripen at a certain pace, and plucking them early is not nice for any of us. As big ideas fall free, I'll post them to the site, and of course mention them here.

Side quest: Making sake near Osaka

The impetus for all this reconfiguration was a vacation and reflection. At the end of February, I spent a few weeks in Japan. For one of those weeks, I interned as a sake brewer at Daimon Shuzo between Osaka and Kyoto.

Massaging spores into rice provides ample time for reflection.

I captured a small set of stories in an Instagram highlight: have a look if you tread in those waters. A long-form special projects update, similar to 2021's harvest review, is flowering on the vine. When it's ripe, you'll find out in a Loops and Cycles footnote.

See you next week for the first edition!

Dave

About the author
Dave Hora

Dave Hora

Research consultant and product strategist. || Understand what is being considered. Focus on user needs. Visualize the challenge at hand.

Dave's Research Co.

Helping teams shape and ship good product — research consulting and product strategy with a B2B focus.

Dave's Research Co.

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