One of KFG’s core values is applying a systemic outlook to our work to solve problems holistically, rather than iterating at the margins of what’s possible. Staying true to this value can be difficult in the day-to-day context of building software, which must necessarily focus on the pragmatic. Even in thinking about big new features, we often find ourselves starting with how to build something based on what we have today, rather than what we should build and why.
So, we created a space for ourselves to think beyond local problem and solution maxima: fanfics. As the name implies, fanfics are fictional alternative storylines for our products. They are a chance to ask “what if PubPub or the Underlay could do this?” without the baggage of needing the idea to be practical or even realistic. Fanfics can be rough or very detailed, a paragraph or a novel, take the form of text, code, visualization, or a photo of a sketch on the back of a napkin.
They are not meant to be “canon,” or based in any current reality. They are not proposals, product requirement documents, or specifications. Instead, they are meant to be sandboxes where we can safely explore, consider, and discuss possible futures for KFG products. Most importantly: they are not commitments to do anything, including follow up on feedback (although we certainly appreciate it when fanfic authors can take the time to do so).
Many of our best ideas to date have originated in fanfics that, over time, shape our perception of what our products could be and become closer to reality. Recently, we’ve felt the urge to mirror our users’ transparency and openness and practice another one of our values, accessibility, by opening our fanfic process to the broader KFG community.
We invite you to read, share, and comment on any of the fanfics below. And, should you be so willing, we also invite you to submit your own fanfic using the submissions button above.