[Originally published in The Coloradoan on 5/4/12]
The days of the traditional development cycle are almost in the past as more technologically advanced solutions for collaboration continue to be introduced into the marketplace.
From single business owners to large corporations, the ways to collaborate are greater than ever and are providing a whole new spin on the co-creative, collaborative process.
In the business world today, companies are often involving their customers, researchers and social networks into their traditional testing environments for new products. Receiving constant feedback from end users and designers alike, the product development process becomes a completely different game than in the past.
While companies still hold tight the innovation process, the “outsider” influence shapes product development like never before. Online meeting rooms and video chat have now taken the process global.
Teams of product developers no longer need to even be in the same country to be able to have a real-time exchange of ideas. Services such as Google+, WebEx and even iPhone FaceTime have opened the doors for everyone to be able to jump in the fun of digital co-invention.
In the creative world, you even can collaborate with other creatives like never before. For example, musicians can use video conferencing tools in combination with Ableton Live, YouSendIt and DropBox to record and transfer files. It is now possible to have a jam session with your friend, no matter where in the world you are.
The next time you have a new product idea for your business or creative project and your trusted confidant across the country is the perfect person to bounce ideas off of, sign up for any one of the numerous free services, invite your friend, and, in real-time, begin sharing ideas, charts, specs and more.
Have you thought how digital collaboration tools could help your business? If not, you need to jump on board and embrace this new era of technology so you can begin reaping the benefits now.
Stu Crair is the owner and lead trainer at The Digital Workshop Center, providing digital arts and computer training instruction in Fort Collins. Call him at (970) 980-8091 or send email to stu@ fcdigitalworkshop.com.