Build a simple system and let it evolve.
Designing simple systems is one of the
great challenges. John Gall in Systemantics wrote: “A complex system that
works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked.The inverse proposition also appears to be true. A complex system designedfrom scratch never works and cannot be made to work. You have to start overbeginning with a working simple system."
Design for participation.
Closely related to the idea of simplicity is the idea of designing for participation. Participatory systems are often remarkably simple
they have to be, or they just don't work. When the system is designed fromthe ground up to consist of components developed by independent developers
for example governmental agencies, regions, states, provinces, cities, privatesector, and the civil society sector
Learn from your hackers.
A key understanding about building platforms is thatthe most creative ideas for how the platform can be used don't necessarilycome from the co-creators of the fundamental technology. Platformbreakthroughs are often not exploited by their creators, but by the second-generation of innovators and entrepreneurs who put it to work.
Data mining allows you to harness implicit participation.
When thinkingabout user participation and the co-creation of value, it's easy to focus ontechnology platforms that explicitly feature the creations of their users, suchas Wikipedia, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and blogs. Yet in many ways thebreakthroughs have often come from exploring a far wider range of possibilities for collaboration. For example, the Page Ranking algorithm that
created Google assumed that every user’s use of links was in effect voting on
value. This is an example of implicit participation.
Lower the barriers to experimentation.
Experiments in informed governmentmust be designed from the outset not as a fixed set of specifications, but asopen ended platforms to allow for extensibility and revision that evolve overtime through their use. Platform thinking is an antidote to the completespecifications that currently dominate governments approach not only to ITbut to programs of all kinds. Cultural changes are required. Empoweringindividuals to "fail forward fast" accepts and acknowledges that even when anexperiment fails we will still learn something.