Media from the Future: Press Release

There are many media formats you can use to explain and communicate an idea, such as descriptive videos, visual illustrations or well-written newspaper articles. With a “media from the future” prototype, you use one of these communication formats to illustrate, how the life of a person, or the world in general, might look like if your product would already exist. This allows to easily show how your product would improve on the current status quo. One of the most well-known proponents of this prototyping technique is Amazon. Amazon frequently forces new ideas through an initial test via a media from the future prototype in the form of a press release with attached FAQs. In this press release, the idea is explained with all the potential benefits, implications, and possible downsides. The addition of an FAQ section allows for the anticipation of the most common reactions and questions to the idea. This prototype can be easily circulated amongst internal or trusted external stakeholder groups to gauge the initial reactions to the idea. This is how Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant was first prototyped. Check out the Forbes article “How Does Amazon Stay At Day One?” by Jeff Dyer and Hal Gregerson to get a good account of how Amazon regularly employs this prototyping approach.