Wouldn’t it be cool if….

Wouldn't it be cool if we could integrate some off the wall feature into our XPages environment? This is a phrase that gets used quite a bit in the team I work with and I think is a key driver to innovation, discussion and a source of producing excitement about whatever followed that phrase. While the phrase itself isn't very awe inspiring or really doesn't mean that much, I do think it is a key player in driving innovation. Some examples if you please….

  • Wouldn't it be cool if… there was technology that would take a Notes application and spit out an XPages application? (Been there done that and now we know the answer that it's too expensive)
  • Wouldn't it be cool if… we could know how our users are using Notes applications?
  • Wouldn't it be cool if… we could figure out how applications are related to one another?
  • Wouldn't it be cool if… we could figure out who our subject matter expert is for any given Notes application?
  • Wouldn't it be cool if… we could figure out what bits of code are the most used in form actions?
  • Wouldn't it be cool if… we could figure out where all the instances of a given application are located within our entire Domino infrastructure?
  • Wouldn't it be cool if… we could come up with a better way to modernize a notes infrastructure?

These are but a few of the "Wouldn't it be cool if…." discussions that have lead to products, a new company and driving innovation on an unbelievable scale and that I personally have been involved with. It's these questions that make you think of the possible and come up with creative ways to address the question. Usually the answers are quite stark and certainly creative.

It's just such a simple phrase that can drive so much, which is what makes it kind of mind-blowing when you think about it. There is currently a car commercial featuring this phrase (I can't think of the company off hand). Every time I see that commercial it makes me think of this and how we use it on almost a daily basis. What will really blow your mind is what phrase was used before the word "cool" was… well…. cool and meant something other than chilled? I don't know, but I'm sure it probably had the same results (i.e. Wouldn't it be cool if we could go to the moon, put a spacecraft in orbit, send a probe into deep space?).

While XPage and Java development probably isn't as difficult as rocket science it still is a very good space for innovation, thinking outside the box and being creative. So I post this question to you now dear reader…. when was the last time you asked a team mate(s) this question…. Wouldn't it be cool if….(insert your cool idea here)? If you can't remember, why not make it a habit of asking that question in your next team meeting, round table, smoke break, lunch break or whatever break? What can it hurt? It just might lead to something earth shattering.

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