Method of Action is an educational website that will launch with three different courses: design, entrepreneurship and gardening. Every course is composed by 50 different "missions". Each mission will accompanied by insightful articles or video that establish best practices for the task at hand, recommending books for further reading, or tools that can help you accomplish your goal.
You can then submit your completed mission, and more experienced peers will review it, giving a passing or failing grade. If you succeed, you will gain points that give you access to more difficult missions.
As you gain experience, you will be able to review and help less experienced users.
Information ≠ knowledge
I read a lot, I have this huge collection of data in my head, and whenever people say something like "I'd like to open a restaurant" I catch myself wanting to say "Well, it's not easy, a study says that says 60% of restaurants close their door within a year". But I know it's the Asperger's in me. So I think about stuff that actually helps like "Well, I read an article that says that the second cheapest wine is the most demanded, because nobody wants to be a cheap bastard. So restaurants bank on this and put their highest profit wine there, which means that you get less bang for your buck".
It's an interesting tidbit, but it can't compare to the actual advice a real restaurateur could provide. His interest would be genuine, his answers heartfelt, and his advice spot-on. Knowledge enables you to connect with people and things at a much more intimate level.
There's a tremendous amount of beauty in things if you have deep knowledge about how they are built, be them organic or man-made. When I moved to Canada a brought along a European style coffee maker. My uncle—an engineer—was fascinated with the mechanics. He took it apart and studied every piece. I had always thought it was "nice" but my uncle found a much more deeper functional beauty.
Knowledge is acquired by actually doing things and reflecting upon it. Proactively thinking about how you can improve what you did.
You will eventually need feedback loops
You can get pretty far with just doing, but there comes a time when you will need someone to tell you how to advance. Imagine you are a solitary but extra-motivated person who wants to sprint as fast as Usain Bolt. Running seems straightforward, just move your damn legs as fast as you can, right?.
Well, it doesn't quite work out like that. You would start out by making impressive milestones, you would cut a couple of seconds every month on a 100m dash. But eventually you would hit a ceiling and you would have no idea how to surpass it. Here is where expertise comes into play, a good coach would be able to catch weaknesses in your strides, coach you on nutrition and muscle building.
Even without hitting your ceiling, it's always comforting knowing there are people watching, giving you tips on the general mechanics.
Who is behind the project
We are Mark and María
In 2010 we decided to move to Toronto, Canada. Mark would embark in a close collaboration with Uproot, a UX development agency working on high profile projects for Rubbermaid, CBC, Bell and McDonald's Canada; while María worked full-time with Linking Paths, an international web development shop split between Reykjavik, Bilbao, Madrid and Toronto.
María brings serious communication and project management skills to the table. Her passion is making text and visual information understandable. You can find María's work at mariamunuera.com
Mark's has been awarded the University Student of the Year 2008 in the Journalism category by CNN/Expansión magazine for designing and programming the website for the United Nations Information Centre in Mexico City.
He also earned 2nd place in AbreDatos 2010, Spain's national Open Data contest, for designing misparadas.com, a web application that tracks public transportation in real-time. In 2011 he released memela.com, an html5 drawing application that has been featured in Chome Experiments, a Google curated html5 showcase.
Mark is in charge of one the most popular design blogs in Spanish, Duopixel. Duopixel has more than 30,000 unique visitors per month, and has been featured in the book "Blogs, Mad about Design" by maomao publications.
Mark's skills lie at the intersection between design and development.
You can view Mark's work at duopixel.ca