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Context for this Capstone Document

@Colm Toolan
. I'm fascinated by the philosophy and potential of coda. I'm looking forward to understanding the detail and building my first industrial strength, dynamic, working docs. Oh - and I'm in stealth mode for a (small scale) publishing business model based on industrial strength, dynamic, working docs. :-)
Colm Toolan sketch 2.jpg
This Capstone Document was made as an assignment within the coda 3Q2022 Bootcamp. So let’s deal with the formal instructions of that program first.


Step 1 - Choose Your Archetype

Now it’s your turn to bring it all together by building a doc using one of the archetypes. You can choose a Two-Way Write Up, Team Hub, or Flexible Initiative Tracker. Feel free to be creative, and try something new. If you’re having fun, you’re doing it right.
I certainly had fun, so I must have been doing something right!
Considering the task in hand and the functionality needed for a first version, I decided
it’s not going to be a Team Hub, where someone provides/ dictates the content for others to consume
the functionality of a Flexible Initiative Tracker isn’t needed, at least not in a first version, as we’re not assigning ToDos or anything that’s in any way time-critical
which leaves us with a Two-Way Write Up.
Conclusion: It’s a Two-Way Write.
Fun Fact: That might be what it is, and it may have been intended that I should use the coda template, but I didn’t discover its existence as a / command until much later in the process.

Step 2 - Choose Your Audience

Once you pick your archetype, you have a few options: You can build to solve a problem you want to solve. You can build to solve a problem for someone else. Or, if you’re unsure, you can choose to build for one of the 5 personas (Personal, Nonprofit, Education, Small Business, or Enterprise company)
Is all of the above an acceptable answer?
I definitely was doing it for myself.
I’m fascinated by the philosophy and potential of coda. So I was looking forward to understanding the detail and building my first industrial strength, dynamic, working docs.
I’m about to enter stealth mode for a (small scale - some would say niche, boutique) publishing business model based on industrial strength, dynamic, working docs.
thinking about a potential publishing business model, then I need to be doing it some someone else
and my publishing focus will most definitely be B2B topics, so we’re looking at business customers from Start-Ups through SMEs to Enterprise

Step 3 - Build Your Doc

This is where the fun begins!
Been there, done that!
Strange, the coda Tee hasn’t arrived yet 🤔

Step 4 - Publish Your Doc

Once you’re done building your doc, take the following steps:
Publish your doc on
Submit your Capstone project at this
When you submit, you can mark if you would like to continue to the full Coda Doctorate Program.

Problem Set and Research Questions

Background for choice of document

The Business Model Cavas is a well-known tool, in common use - at least in Europe. It was originally published with a Creative Commons licence, so there are multiple variations, covering a wide range of topics.
👉 If we can crack this problem in coda, there may well be a range of viable applications.
The development and use of a Business Model Canvas is an interactive process. There are no correct answers but the collaborative development of a common view can drive consensus on the vision and structure o a business venture.
👉 The collaborative nature of coda (think Two-Way Write-Up) is probably ideally suited to support this process.
There is sufficient well-documented content and supporting discussion available to provide realistic sample data
👉 The sample data is available, coherent and complete, allowing us to focus on the document structure and functionality.

Application Challenges

The Business Model Canvas allows you to describe a business model on a single page, using a standard layout for the nine building blocks.
Whilst it is allowable to adjust the layout for specific purposes, we need to be careful that this does not incur a loss of familiarity or indeed usability for the user.
👉 Layout is an issue. The canvas paradigm must be maintained.
coda implements a responsive user interface, to support elegant and appropriate display on a wide range of device types, sizes and resolutions. In part, this is driven by (intransparent) background layout decisions, which don’t always support the design choices made in a layout-centric application, such as the case in point.
👉 Standard coda devices (cards, boards etc.) should be used where possible, for best possible display responsiveness

Workshop Functionality

The nature of workshop collaboration implies the need for flexibility.
There can be multiple solution sets, which may or may not be considered side by side (display switching)
old business model alongside planned adjustments
OurCo business model alongside competitor’s business model
OurCo business model alongside supplier’s/ partner’s/ re-seller’s business model
Production view alongside Marketing view
and so on and so forth.
👉 The data structures used should support different business models, different version and perhaps multiple iterations in the course of a workshop
It may be necessary to support different type of discussion, perhaps by providing an overview of the complete model or a detailed view of some part for focused discussion.
👉 Different views and layouts are needed.
It may be necessary to cut & dice content, again depending on the direction or the level of detail of the individual discussions. Users may have different ways of looking at the content in line with their way of thinking.
👉 Interactive filtering of the content is a requirement
It is likely that constructive discussion will lead to the generation of suggested additions to the canvas
👉 Content may be added and labelled as a suggestion
Ideally these suggestions could be voted on, reflecting their acceptance within the group, with the best scored additions being promoted to a status of agreed workshop additions.
👉 Support should be provided for voting, with subsequent promotion of additions made

Asynchronous Workshops

The coda document-centric paradigm inherently supports asynchronous working. Within the context of this bootcamp and the supporting Office Hours sessions, we have seen hybrid collaboration (real-time, delayed-time, asynchronous) working at its best.
👉 coda provides support for asynchronous working.
However, tracking may be an issue in long-term, confidential, security-centric or audit trail-relevant applications. Ideally, we should be able (long after the event) to identify the source of individual items, record voting results - by user, by session, in total - and create or maintain summaries of workshop decisions and deliverables.
👉 We need to explore, examine or implement support for audit trails.
Industrial strength version control is equally an issue. There is a need to
log changes on a version-by-version basis
revert easily to previous versions
merge versions, in the sense of synchronising multiple asynchronous (but perhaps parallel) workshops
merge versions in an iterative, additive manner
👉 We need to explore, examine or implement support for version management.

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