Emotionally, Rapid prototyping is a confidence unlocker
Functionally, Rapid Prototyping is a critical step that enables ideators to turn what they picture in their mind (or on paper) into something that can be physically manipulated or experimented by others – colleagues, customers, manufacturers.
Emotionally, Rapid Prototyping can be a powerful confidence unlocker – for self or others. Let me put forward an example: I would not have the confidence to build a bespoke bunk bed for my youngest son, but I certainly have nothing to lose trying to make a small scale prototype. And once I’ve done such a small scale prototype, I realise that it is not that complicated to do a full scale one. I’ve got to take care of dimensioning the wood beams and screws to support the weight of the structure and the child (plus a safety margin!), but this is something that the Home Depot shop assistant can help me with. My self-confidence is all of a sudden seriously boosted. Interestingly, my stakeholders’ (in this case, my wife’s) confidence in my ability to do it is also significantly enhanced!
For activities such as public speaking, story-telling, sales calls, negotiations, difficult conversations with colleagues, staff or boss, rapid prototyping in the form of role playing can provide the same sort of confidence boost. In many cases, we do not have the time luxury to role-play again and again to the point where “practice makes perfect”. But even a couple of role-plays will deliver an enormous confidence boost and in some cases may even unlock “something” inside that will make us look back at the exercise as the moment when “it” happened and, all of a sudden, we could fly.