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With the formation of the motion picture industry during the early 20th century, motion analysis became a useful tool that was adopted in various ways from scientific to artistic pursuits. Concurrently, in 1927 Nikolai Bernstein, a neurophysiologist, brought a new scientific approach to studying human movement and based his hypotheses in neurophysiology and motor control. Münte et al. (2002) and Furuya and Altenmüller (2013) have also adopted this approach much later. Bernstein et al. also developed a new way of capturing motion, the Kymocyclograph, which has been heralded as “probably unsurpassed until the recent advent of optoelectronic techniques” ( Kay et al., 2003 ). The Kymocyclograph used film and a camera shutter lens at high speed to capture images of light bulbs placed on the moving body ( Kay et al., 2003 ). The Kymocyclograph was capable of capturing up to 600 images per second and presented a series of images of the light bulbs at positions throughout a movement. Bernstein et al. used these images to measure joint movement ( Gelf and Latash, 2002 ). The combination of this new technology, and rigorous methods of analysis, forged a new area: the field of biomechanics.

Bernstein was a proponent of biomechanics and advocated it as a tool for understanding complex interactions of sensorimotor system using robust, accurate and objective measures. One application area investigated by Bernstein and his team was the “biodynamics of piano strike” ( Bernstein and Popova, 1930 ). In one of the earliest examples of studying musical technique using biomechanical methods, Bernstein used his Kymocyclograph to answer the questions: (1) “Do changes in the tempo of a movement influence its construction and dynamics?” and (2) “To what extent does the weight of the extremity contribute to the studied exercise?” The study compared shoulder, elbow and wrist movement of pianists and selected music that constrained the movements of the individual to eliminate any opportunity for “artistic performance.” The results of this early study showed inter-joint coordination increases with increased tempo, where faster tempi show the movements that contribute to key strike become more continuous and fluid, and slow tempi appear segmented. This had interesting implications in piano pedagogy by identifying that coordinated movement sequences are fundamentally different when played at different tempo. This indicates that from a motor control perspective, practicing a piece of music at a slower pace does not help learning because as speed increases, old movement sequences are un-learned and new sequences learned. It is therefore beneficial to practice at the required tempo from an early stage of learning each piece. However, this is not the only perspective and from a pianist’s perspective, note learning and memorization may require slow practice.

This study also showed that at faster tempi, wrist movement seemed “forced” by elbow movement, thus illustrating for the first time that these adjoining segments are highly coupled. This has interesting implications for motor learning and automatic sequence actuation. Bernstein and Popova (1930) also clarified that the weight of the extremity does not contribute to an exercise, as active muscle forces are present during movement illustrating independence.

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Jude Fulton
Recovering Architect at Mosss.com. East coast gal who wandered west. I used to design buildings, now I design experiences.

The NextDay

At Design Review 1, each of the Matter three portfolio companies pitched to a panel of 5 and a crowd of about 50 people. The panelists (pictured above) were: Hunter Walk of Homebrew , Deanna Brown of Byliner , Evan Hansen of Medium, Dave Gehring of Google, and Mens Royal Ec Ride Training Running Shoes Reebok fb4Anfv5
, former WSJ foreign correspondent. A special thank you to the panelists for their generosity of time and insight.

After Design Review 1, all 6 companies got together the next morning to assess the feedback we received. The crew at Matter has been really great about helping us collect as many data points as possible on the content and delivery of our pitches.

Lara records every pitch, and we watch ourselves on tape the next day, an experience that is kind of painful (I hate watching myself on tape), but admittedly, it is helpful. Additionally, we receive about 50+ feedback forms from panelists, audience members, and fellow Matter companies, that look like this:

The next day, while it is still fresh in our memory, we get together as a group to synthesize the feedback. This is the part of the feedback that is . Prior to Matter I had never had such an in-depth or quick feedback loop on how I pitch, and it’s been a welcome change.

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2. Then, the founders of the company we selected first to begin the process share their post-it notes first. One by one, they go to the whiteboard and begin to share what they want to focus on. Below is Prashant from Local Data.

3. Then the rest of us post our notes on the whiteboard, where the facilitator (Corey) groups the feedback into categories. The rest of us listen to what is being shared and can ask clarifying questions.

Synthesis + Accountability

You’ll often see cofounders of a company post similar, if not exactly the same priorities. And we often see common themes emerge — a need to more clearly articulate our sustainable competitive advantage, for example, or to test hypotheses that will impact our business models.

With 6 groups, it lasts about an hour and a half, maybe 2 hours. But what is invaluable about the process is that we are forced to assess and verbalize our priorities the day after a pitch, while it is still fresh in our minds. It’s also a great way to hold ourselves accountable to our friends and fellow cofounders. If you can find a community of fellow founders whom you trust to share your pitch with, I would highly recommend it. But don’t skimp on the feedback, synthesis or accountability.

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