Tim Meaney

The Kindling Community: Partners in Design

A little over a week ago at the Tribeca Grand Hotel, Kindling hosted a Sneak Peek for the relaunch of Kindling3, a redesign of our flagship innovation software product. It was an amazing event, where we got to show our friends and partners the final reward for nearly six months of labor. It was a proud moment for us all (and the old fashioneds weren’t bad, either). And it gave me the opportunity to really think about the innovation process—to what degree it is collaborative and to what degree it comes from a singular vision.

Some pictures of the Kindling3 launch event

I find it useful to look at a software product and company through the lens of Conway’s Law, which states that ‘any piece of software reflects the organizational structure that produced it.’ And when I think about Kindling—both the product and the company—one concept jumps out at me: community. Kindling the product is about engaging an organization’s community in productive conversations. Viewed through Conway’s lens, it’s not surprising that the company producing this software is part of a series of strong communities: from our employees to our friends and coworkers at Arc90, the NY Tech community, our partners Yammer, Amazon, Seek and Deloitte and finally our great customers. Kindling is a community.

In The Shape of Design, Frank Chimero states: “All design springs from a complex social ecosystem created by multiple parties’ interests weaving together to produce the design.” I’m drawn to that phrase—multiple interests weaving together to alignment. And “social ecosystem” feels very close to “community”. When designing Kindling3, we had no shortage of information to pull from: years of conversations with the market and feedback from our partners and customers. There were lots of interests to weave together. With Kindling3, we’ve taken Deloitte’s encyclopedic range of innovation expertise and have been influenced by Yammer’s social-first approach. We’re compelled by Amazon’s vision for the future of enterprise software. We’ve take motivation from the NY tech community, a never-depleting source of inspiration. We’ve listened to feedback and frustrations from customers, and remained true to the attributes that earned us praise from the same. We listen to ourselves, as both major users of and keepers of the vision of this product.

All of these served as inputs for our redesign, and we weaved this together over months to produce the new product. But make no mistake about it: Kindling3 is an expression of our point of view about what an engaging, modern innovation software product is.

In the coming days and weeks, I’ll be writing more about the process and promise of the New Kindling. We’ll give you your own sneak peek at every facet of the upgrade—from the features that our partners and customers conceived to our own design thinking. Innovation doesn’t happen in a vacuum; that’s the principle that underlies everything we’ve created. Let us show you how Kindling3 reflects that core truth, and how Kindling can allow your organization to realize it as well.