Since Comcast Interactive Media's (CIM) inception in 2005, we have continually sought to find the untold story behind our innovation. We feel that innovation begins with our people and we want to cultivate a work environment that celebrates new ideas, provides an opportunity to learn new technologies and challenges the status quo. We began CIM Lab Week six years ago in that spirit, giving CIMmers an opportunity to impact the roadmap development of our products and services, and in turn affect change in our industry.
CIM Lab Week invites our engineers and sometimes other cross-functional teams (quality assurance, user experience, etc.) to work collaboratively on projects that are not currently on our roadmap. What happens is this: CIMmers pitch product or technology capability ideas to each other, self-select teams to execute chosen ideas and then have one week to build working software for a project that has a clear benefit or value to Comcast and our customers, or enhances our platforms to extend our capabilities. What they build is entirely up to them. Not every idea warrants development, and the selection process is done solely by the teams. At the end of Lab Week, the CIMmers present their projects in a "science fair" style event which includes the entire CIM organization and special guest from other parts of the Comcast. As a follow-up to Lab Week, we select projects that should go onto the roadmap, ones that need further research, or identify the ones that contain strategic intellectual property that may be useful in future endeavors.
The CIM Lab Week is really about providing our CIMmers the opportunity to work with people and technologies they typically don't work on everyday. It provides an opportunity to stimulate the creativity that sometimes gets lost in the traditional product development process. Lab Week has been instrumental in accelerating some very important product changes including: changing our security model for our Xfinity TV experience from client to server; our on-boarding experience for new Xfinity TV customers and how we automate our product testing, to name a few. The ideas, personal relationships and projects that are generated in Lab Week are really just the beginning. With input and refinement from the rest of the organization we are able to develop truly amazing products that our customers will love which is what we strive for everyday.
In the next few days we'll post additional interviews from Lab Week that provide a deeper dive into the process and projects.