The other day we came across a video that is the perfect example of where theory ends and ideas happen. It shows how a group of anthropologists tested out their theory of how the 90-ton Easter Island statues were actually moved. And they did so by building a 10-foot-tall, 5-ton prototype. Check it out:
More than that, the prototype proved that 90-ton objects could be moved this way, especially since the bigger statues would have greater leverage.
Prototyping is important, whether it's a 5-ton replica of a 90-ton statue or clickable mockup of a website. We can have all the theory in the world, but we won't know if that theory works unless we build a prototype. We've got to test our ideas, learning what works and doesn't work. Prototyping gets us there.
We don't get to better solutions magically and often we don't have them right off the bat. The only why to get there, to see if what we theorize is true, is to prototype and iterate on that prototype rapidly. So go out there and build you're own 5-ton prototype.