Shiver me timbers! Observations on pirates and products

My vicarious TikTok education continues as I came across a ‘did you know?’ that blew me away… Apparently, pirates didn’t wear eyepatches because of a missing eye. It’s much more likely that they were keeping one eye ready to see in the darkness, so that they could adjust quickly when going below deck.

My world view shifted just a little. I read this ‘fact’ while working on the design of some pretty complex digital products. It struck me that as a service designer working in an agile environment, it can often pay to ‘be more pirate’.

In this sense, you must be able to chart a course for your ship (service or product); to follow the map (blueprint) whilst weaving through the elements (change demand) to the promised treasure (user satisfaction).

At the same time, you must be ready, willing, and able to concurrently dive deep into the often dark complexities of the ship itself, support and steady its crew, and manage the practicalities of a life at sea.

All this while, in an agile sense, embracing the more positive pirate virtues of passion, independence, and derring-do. The best pirates (agile team members) are risk takers, who challenge the status quo, who travel with, and celebrate, their incredibly diverse crew. Indeed, they share an ethos championed by Dave Burgess, author of the book ‘Teach like a Pirate.’

“If you’re willing to live by the code, commit to the voyage, and pull your share of the load, then you’re free to set sail.”

So, ignoring the pillaging side of all this, I’m off onto eBay to get my eye patch and tricorn hat. But l will leave you with another ‘did you know’, as provided by my colleague, Cap’n Elisha Cooper.

A slice of apple pie is $2.50 in Jamaica and $3.00 in the Bahamas.

These are the pie rates of the Caribbean.

Arr.

Cover photo by Mateusz Dach from Pexels.

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Julie Arbuthnott

Principal Consultant and Service Design Specialist

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