The Daily News Innovation Lab was started as an experiment in working with startups in a more collaborative way. While the industry itself is in need of big change, one of the keys to the initial success of the Daily News Innovation Lab was starting small and picking the right project.
By “starting small” I don’t mean to imply “thinking small”. Conceptualizing the Lab in the first place was a big vision. And if the projects we chose were irrelevant to the journalists, we wouldn’t get adoption in the newsroom. Instead, by “starting small” I mean starting with a project that can be introduced without major system overhaul or internal disruption. Specific things we thought about were:
1. Existing workflows
While we came up with many ideas that, if properly executed, would streamline our workflow in the newsroom, our experiment couldn’t touch essential business workflows, or require integration with proprietary third-party software tools.
2. Identify New Territory
We selected projects that (as far as we knew) no one else in the company was working on. When ideas came up that related to ongoing projects that were already in process by another department (or we found out they were), we quickly shelved them. We didn’t want anyone in the Company to feel that the Lab was threatening their turf.
Datavisual was a perfect fit for the Daily News for many reasons. But in this context, because there was a specific need in the newsroom, the product is completely stand-alone and cloud based (and therefore doesn’t need to touch any systems) and it addressed a problem for which no one had identified a workable solution.