Reflective Essay :Design thinking in practise

INTRODUCTION

 When I enrolled for the Masters of International Business (MIB), my objective was to diversify myself from the existing marketing & corporate sales field that represent a big part of my working experience. My aim is to go towards more the business development field, having also some experience in that area as well.

After working for 10 years, I was looking for a new challenge and used my experience to start either a business or self- develop myself in entrepreneurship to go into consultancy or work in the business development unit.

I am still not 100% sure of my exact future professional plan as after completion of this MIB program, I am planning do a professional course with regard to my future plans and start looking for an internship in the business development unit or consultancy. Working for myself is part of my long term professional vision via the development of a startup which is one of the main reason why I decided to enroll for the design thinking module.

2.0 Mauritius and Small & Medium Enterprise

My plan since a while was to develop a startup, as the Mauritian government wants to make the small and medium enterprise as another pillar of the economy. They are investing quite significantly in terms of infrastructure, technological advancement, and financial grants, mentoring programs to potential investors who require guidance to implementation of their startups. However, if I delayed myself from starting a business was because I wanted to create something that makes a difference in my country or elsewhere and not creating the next restaurant or textile store or any other traditional businesses

 3.0 WHEN CREATIVITY MIXES WITH MANAGEMENT

 3.1      Refining potential business ideas

 Design thinking and the teaching has been most valuable and instructive specially when it comes to the idea generation for startups .I believe this is one important reason for potential entrepreneurs students to follow the design thinking class. Speaking of my own personal experience, given that my objective can be to start a business, the difference after following the design thinking class is to learn how to think and research about potential ideas. We all have a lot of potential ideas but we cannot do all at the same time. Design Thinking has helped me realized how I could shortlist ideas when using the Lean Business model.

3.2      The creative aspect of design thinking

 Speaking from an MIB student perspective, another valuable element that I find extremely important for potential entrepreneur that would benefit from this module is to have another view of doing business. The teaching method itself is way different than any traditional management course and it offers an understanding of real business model, how it can be used in real business context. It emphasizes student to be imaginative and creative, which is the essence of innovation .For a company to survive in today’s world, it requires more than just creating a product or service and expecting people to buy it. Customers are exposed to international trends irrespective of the field therefore there demands are more sophisticated, refined and accurate which imply a high expectation level from any product or service which is being created.

I was always stuck when it comes to potential business ideas. Before even starting I would simply reject the idea as not good for starting a business but doing the design thinking class, some guest lecturers, the teaching itself simplified the process of building a startup. More importantly, not to restrict our imagination. After looking at the products that the MACE has developed and the other students that we had the opportunity to meet in the fair , I realized that ideas do not need to be fancy to start a business. This has been a key element that we have been taught during the design thinking module. Business ideas sound very different to me after this module.

Remembering the beginning sessions of the course where we were given a theme and how we had to expand our research to develop potential business ideas. Despite some of them looked really fancy, but the experience I retain from these exercises how we should be having a more observing attitude towards everything and everywhere we are if we want to be creative and how it makes idea generation flow more easily.

3.3      Design Thinking & Innovation

 Having done an innovation module part of the MIB program, it has been easy to correlate the different business models that we have been taught in both modules. Design thinking uses the Lean business model to develop product and services and the whole program is about refining the product development based on customers needs and wants .To do so , I have been able to implement the other business models discussed in Innovation module in terms of incremental or radical business model in the product development of lucky 5 .For potential entrepreneurs I believe the more valuable experience comes from the implementation of the learning .

3.4      Real Business Experience

 Having done a real business, created a product, selling the product is a big experience that after doing it, for sure it makes a big difference in terms of experience what it is to handle a business .I already knew working for oneself is not an easy job but I have treated this lucky 5 Business not as a module but as a real life experience.

The whole MIB program for me is not about earning another degree but to learn about new ways and techniques in the world of business and how to become better in the field I want to further my career. There is no better way to learn than from real experience which I believe is one fundamental reason why entrepreneur student who want to start their own business and having no experience in startups should go for Design thinking module.

4.0 Lean Business Model & Innovation

 The lean business model as discussed in the blogs is one business model which seriously created a lot of doubts in my mind .It is only after visiting companies implementing the Lean business model and when we used the model in the whole process of product development that I realized how valuable it contributes for a company to remain at the edge of innovation .One of the greatest challenge that companies have to face today is to be able to react to changes in the external environment as fast as possible .Below are examples of successful companies having failed to innovate at the right time and experienced downfall.

  1. Polaroid Corporation
  2. Blackberry
  3. Nokia
  4. My Space
  5. Yahoo
  6. Xerox
  7. The entire publishing Industry
  8. Blockbuster Inc.

These are live examples that we should not forget and learn from it .I would definitely be using Lean business model if I was to start a business as I find it no better to remain ahead of innovation by being constantly aware of what your customers want and be open to what is happening in the external environment.

Recommendation

 Design Thinking is a great opportunity for potential entrepreneurs to benefit from and I would strongly recommend that this module should be highlighted to management student having pathway in entrepreneurship.

The design thinking module creates a simulation of the work environment more precisely how a business run .It implies why we have to develop a business in a team. But unfortunately, just like in real life, working in teams is not always easy. More importantly is to have constructive teams and very often how much goodwill some team members may have , but it might not be the case from all team members.

Each member has it’s own perspective about the module which determines their attitude and their level commitment towards the project. Other factors like age, cultural differences, attitude towards people, time available to choose members to build a group is very limited at times. This leads to certain group formation that might not be functional despite a lot of effort and goodwill. This problem even we find it in real life.

Same as we would treat these problems arising in the work context, It would be good to have an assessment of each member of a team by the lecturers, based on attitude toward other team members, towards their project, their commitment to the project, respecting other members opinion. I think it would be a great help for the students to know that the lecturer will assess their behavior just like each employee would have a performance appraisal based on a lot of factors.

To conclude I would say it is a great opportunity for management people to work with the creative industry .I also think both the management and creative people if they are open to learn and accept the different skills that both the management and creative people possess, both parties will get so much out of this learning .A company can be highly innovative but if it does not manage it’s cash flow properly, the human resource of the company, the inventory that it has, does not have an understanding of it’s client database for example , it would be very difficult for this company to survive.

 “ Great companies start because the founders want to change the world….not to make a fast buck”

Guy Kawasaki (speaking at INBOUND)

 

THANK YOU FOR READING

MEGAN

 

REFERENCES

 1)Year Published: 2014

Title of webpage: Big Companies that weren’t innovative

https://www.vocoli.com/blog/july-2014/10-companies-that-failed-to-innovate-and-what-happened-to-them/

Last Accessed: 24th April 2016

2)Year Published:2015

Title of webpage: Companies that went bankrupt from innovation lag

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/072115/companies-went-bankrupt-innovation-lag.asp

Last Accessed : 24th April 2016

 

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Entrepreneurial Success

Starting a business looks very interesting and a better option than working for a company .However , many people once they embrace this path they are heavily disappointed and the sad truth is many of these businesses fail to survive in this world where innovation dominates in every field.Despite creativity , innovation are at the centre of any successful business , yet if an entrepreneur ignores the basic principles that underlines good practise of running a business , it is sure to edge towards it’s own downfall.

In terms of business ethics , principles and values the list is very long but for the purpose of this blog i would just list a few based on my personal experience while working on the project Lucky 5 that i find very relevant .Refering to article;

”Forbes /Entrepreneurs: 7 Principles for Entrepreneurial Success ( 2013)’

Craig Malloy ,cofounder and CEO of Bloomfire having led and founded three technological companies  , describes his 30 years of experience in entrepreneurship ,the following are some principles that governs good business practise;

1.Development of a meaningful product/service

We all have a lot of ideas but unfortunately , we need to be clear in our  mind what we are creating. As one guest lecturer, Laura Ferrarello , mentioned the idea does not have to be big but basically it is about  solving a problem for a specific market .

It just has to be important to you and your customers. Put forward a vision, a mission, a passion, that you, your employees, your suppliers, your business partners, your customers; everyone, can really rally around. “

2.Showing respect to customers needs & wants

 Customers are more demanding and accurate in their wants and needs and their level of expectation are very high .In this respect i believe the Lean business model is most appropriate to be used if a company want to be innovative and works along with it’s customers.

3.Respect towards team members

Working in synergy with every member of the team is crucial .Communicating  that mission and vision to every member is more than essential for everyone to understand clearly the product/service to be developed

A company rarely consists of one person.It can at a start up level but as it grows , the one person cannot do everything , so at some point working with other people  in your own company is most likely to happen.

It is true we work to earn a living many of us but for an employee to remain in the company if his talent or work is not appreciated , in many cases  the employee on his/her own will , will prefer to look for other job opportunities where he will be able to grow.

4. Respecting the investment made in the company

Another element discussed in the Forbes  is about  investing and spending fund of the company;

“In the case of professional investors, their livelihood and careers depend on your stewardship of their capital. Have respect for them and take care of their money. Tend to it carefully and grow it into a significant return.”

5. Growth of Business

Raising money from investors is one part of doing business .It only helps you to run your business .However to sustain a business there needs to be a balance ,implying there needs to be revenue.

“Growth and profits fund jobs for you, your people, your suppliers, great products and services that help your customers succeed, and ultimately tax revenue for your city, state and country.”

6.To be a leader in your field

A company should aim at being excellent in it’s field .There will always be competition and to deal with it , if the company develops the culture of excelling in it’s field it will be able to adjust to any challenges coming up.

The above are just a few of the business principles and ethics that has been discussed .But it would be too long to cover everything in this blog .Below is video that i find demonstrate a lot of issues that are very common in the work context, in terms of lack of understanding between members of the same group , being realistic , honest to the customers if it is possible to deliver what the clients want.

Wishing you a pleasant reading 🙂

References: 

Website Name :Forbes

Publishing Date:28/8/2013

Article name: 7 principles of entrepreneurial success

Website:

MACE PORTFOLIO’S OF BUSINESS

We were 5 groups of people embarking on the MACE 15 challenge.I recall clearly last september when we started the design thinking class each group reaction to the projects we were carrying out on trial.Seven months later , we all came up with innovative products and met the challenge .

PARACHUTES

parachute2

This group created a product known as the Coffee Cozy .Lovers of hot drinks will appreciate this product more than just a lot .They are one of the group which was able to work on their original idea and just brought incremental changes to their product making it more user friendly or refining their products based on feedback they obtained .But it is amazing how ideas do not need to be fancy to be able to develop  great product .The Coffee Cozy having won quite a few awards within the few months of it’s development fully speaks for itself.It has been a beautiful journey to see this product grow.

EMPARATIGO

Another award -winning team is the Emparatigo group .It has been a real pleasure seeing the development of the Man-Apron product .This group always made us laugh with their product despite the ups and downs. Again this product , speaking for myself prior to doing this Design Thinking program , i would never even think of developing this type of product because i would simply think this  kind of product does not have chances to survive in this high -tech world but for sure i was ver wrong because one thing i realised working on this project is any idea  has it’s potential , the whole point is to test it with the potential customers /early adopters  to know really what people think of the product .I wish you all the best Emparatigo for the Finals!

MASAJ

masaj

This is another group which developed another interesting product the “Meeting Game” .But their progress has been filled with challenges when it came to determine what kind of product or services that could be developed and very often entrepreneurs , speaking of my own experience , at some point i was thinking of starting a business but the challenge of finding an interesting idea that could be developed brought me to a halt , similarly when i watched this group the challenges they faced with the development of the product i could find myself in the dilemma of choosing the idea for product development.I recall how uncertain one can feel when a product is just at it’s early stage of product development but today i am sure  a feeling of great satisfaction the whole MASAJ team must feel when they see the final result  .This is winning in itself not to give up and to go till the end by developing this product .Congrats MASAJ!

PUNKS

punks

The Punks is one daring team that also was really interesting to follow.As many of us , we all have a  lot of ideas but we cannot develop all of them and specially for the design thinking class , we had certain restriction that was being imposed that made it not very at all in many cases. The Punks , we learnt just before the first trade fair that they were changing product .It is quite impressive to see their journey and they managed to come up with a creative product the “multi -purpose scarf ” that could also be used as other functions made of an innovative material the “bamboo” .They even had a selection of  bright colours for their products making their product stand out among competition.I believe this is a big victory for any entrepreneurs to not only give up when it becomes hard but to be able to take actions to be able to go ahead .Congratulations Dear PUNKS!

LUCKY 5

I belong to the lucky 5 group .like the other groups , we had our challenges while developing the Lucky 5 bag .As explained in my previous blogs, we went through a series of testing period and finally developed the last version of the lucky  bag which is a “general eco-friendly shopping bag”.We had many doubts and lots of challenges to overcome but i believe  the important lesson to remember out of this experience is not to give up during the challenging times and to go till the end ,giving the best of yourself .

Seeing the progress of all the teams, I strongly believe this experience will accompany us .Having chosen the entrepreneurial pathway , this design thinking program has been most enriching for both my personal and professional growth .

Thank you for reading !

Megan 🙂

Once upon a time ……in the world of business

The above video and listening to Rob Grundel who delivered a speech about story telling in business context was very interesting .It was an element i would never think of integrating when conducting a business meeting prior to this exposure about how powerful the art of story telling is.

Story telling

Lucky 5  has been using story telling to approach our customers and it has worked brilliantly.

I am very sure many of you have at least visited a trade fair or worked in a trade a fair .You would agree with me that to get the attention of visitors are not very easy .Many come for shopping or visiting or looking for something specific.Clearly people nowadays do not have time to waste.But we manage to get the visitor’s attention via story telling

The approach of story telling is softer . You just explain to your audience  about  what drove you  as producers to make this product and what makes it special .It was interesting to see people’s reaction .We obtained so many positive feedback ,some about how we could ameliorate our product  and others what they liked and liked less with the product .These feedback proved to be valuable as through them ,we were able to determine the price that people were willing to pay for such type of product .

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We manage to sell half of our stock and this has been possible through this technique of story telling .However , again i believe when one is using such technique one should be in the right place and approaching people who are potential customers.Somebody having no interest in your product , it would be difficult to get him/her to give you his time to listen to what you have to say .I believe  if one is planning to use this method, one must choose right place to market the product for example a fair in an appropriate field that aligns with the product can be a great location to meet a maximum people.Maybe out of 1oo customers you are likely to get the attention of 10 potential customers which is not bad for a one day performance.This has been our own experience with the lucky 5 bag .

At times doing things differently can give great results .Story telling is one different powerful tool as depicted below in the video.

Happy reading 🙂 !

The Reward behind Lucky

The design thinking program has been mostly about let go our imagination and be as creative as possible .Emphasis has been on the new way of getting ideas for startups or how we can work with these ideas and what are the things we should consider when it comes to startup ideas.

The learning process has been how to move from ideation and prototype the idea to the testing phase.This valuable lesson as described previously is an important part for the success of the lucky 5 bag .

Among all the trade fairs , the lucky 5 group participated in the Bight idea competition organised by kingston university .It was not very easy to always participate because we were still prototyping which means testing the product.But the bright idea gave a new twist to the product development .This is perfect example of taking advantage of every opportunity that is given to startups.You never know what can happen !

During the bright idea competition , juries had mixed feeling regarding the lucky 5 bag concept .At this stage it was still the key-ring shopping bag .However , something fantastic happened at the end of the competition .One of the juries like the concept of the bag and wanted to refer us to the Royal Academy to make 300 bags for them.We could not proceed further with this opportunity due to lack of time .

From this experience, we realised there is another potential market that we could address, the creative people segment .Along with the eco-friendly concept we decided to add the element of fashion to it .

The bright idea competition just like the other fairs that Lucky 5 group participated has been turning points for the incremental change in the product of lucky 5 bag.

13054422_10208720903363020_1968328588_o

Lucky 5 won the best product award at the bright idea competition .It is a beautiful reward for all members of the team who really contributed to develop this product directly or indirectly.It requires a lot of commitment , goodwill towards every member ,open-mindedness to accept ideas of others and specially that of potential customers, team members ,lecturers ,guest lecturers and the juries to have work on this project.It has not always been an easy journey to develop this product but this reward has been a great motivation for us.

Thank you to the Bright Idea committee for giving Lucky 5 the opportunity to participate and choosing Lucky 5 bag as best product .Special thanks to Janja Song and Richard Anson without their guidance and know-how , encouragement and moral support , this would not have been possible.

Before ending , below is a TEDX talk about thinking out of the box which i think is very reflective of the work we have been doing in the design thinking program.

Happy blogging !

 

 

Lucky Rocks at the trade fairs

The big day ,launching Lucky 5 happened.The trade fairs has been marking for the different phases of lucky 5 .

First Trade Fair at Kingston Business School 

We used the this trade fair as an opportunity to test the lucky 5 bag first concept as a key ring shopping bag .We had prototypes which we showed to customers and was an excellent experience .Based on feedback obtained during the trade fair , it gave us confidence as we had the opportunity to see how people reacted to the product .People liked the concept , the material we used and they gave us some ideas of how we could improve on this prototype.

This trade fair was the right exposure for lucky 5 as many people who commented on our product or gave feedback , was people who could be our potential customers.They were looking for innovative products .They liked a lot the material we used .They liked the eco-friendly concept .Some wanted it to look more appealing for the young, others wanted a printed version and some wanted plain ones where they could write their shopping list on it.

Second Trade Fair at kingston Market 

The Second trade fair was another marking step for the Lucky 5 Bag .After going through a series of trials via prototyping we finally manufactured the lucky 5 bag and was launched at the Trade Fair at Kingston Market .It was fantastic experience where we exhibit the product and we managed to sell a fair amount of products .In this fair what was important was to observe people reaction regarding our selling price .In this trade fair , we observed at what price people were willing to pay for the product .We originally priced the product at £17 to be able to meet all the cost .However , our concern is to see how far we will be able to sell .We gave discount and finalised at £ 15 .

Again , my personal experience i found this so helpful when taking decision and very often if one is attentive to the customers, you get the answer to your question and can solve a lot of problems.

rcy bag 1

Third Trade Fair at kingston University 

This trade fair was more about getting people to see our product .We finalised our price .We managed to sell  a few during this fair.Some fairs are more interesting than others but more importantly , at this stage when you are a start-up company every opportunity to sell or be able to exhibit your products is a chance you don’t want to lose.

The trade fairs we participated has been determining both in the product development of lucky 5 bag  and even for the launching of our product .

My next blog will be another event where the Lucky 5 group participated and how it helped in the product development of lucky 5 bag .

Happy Reading 🙂 !

Lucky 5 & The Lean Concept

Lucky 5 bag is a project based on the lean concept.Being newly exposed to this new business model was not very easy .It is tiring , demotivating at times specially it implies each member of the team has to synchronise their work which is not always easy and accepted by everyone.Using the lean concept allows you not only to just deliver a product but to be innovative , creative and to adjust in time to changes happening in the external environment and deliver the appropriate products to the selected market.

Lean in practise

Despite lean being a very effective and smart business model it requires commitment and full understanding of this concept to be able to implement it .However , when working in a team it can be very challenging if people do not commit to the business model .

It reminds me of a company i visited in Norway , the Saint Gobain Company and they were using the lean business model .It was very impressive seeing how it works in real when a company implements lean helped me understand better this business model .

Each department of the company from production to logistic were lean .They had a chart where every task was noted and a date assigned .As the work being done it is being ticked and it goes on .In case a task is not being done, follow up was being carried out followed by actions.

Lean & Team 

Working with the lean , is like a chain , more than ever good team work is required .Every  decision has to be synchronised.It is a new of generating ideas to develop business opportunities .The product development of the lucky 5 bag has been a valuable exercise .When there was a lack of coordination between team members , it simply did not work .

Personal experience with lean 

Having worked with this concept for the lucky 5 bag has been a valuable exercise . i would definitely use this concept if i was doing a business in future than going the traditional way of doing a whole product without even testing and just launch the final product .

We all have our own ideas and believe hardly in them which is an important element but i personally realised how important it is to be attentive to our target market .

 Silicon- valley startups and many international companies have embraced lean as their new business model .More importantly after working on this project is to be able react proactively to changes in customers needs to develop the right product .We have seen so many successful brands failing to innovate and how they lose their competitive advantage and to extreme cases their downfall.

The below video is an illustration of a startup using lean .

Happy Reading !

Innovate with your customers

Quoting steven Johnson ;

” Chance favours the connected minds”

I find  this quote very powerful and reflective of the work that we have tried to do in the design thinking program .Below is an analysis of the different stages in the product development of the lucky 5 bag and how moving from each stage has been a learning experience  and like it is discussed in this video at times certain elements are missing that prevent us from developing the right that would be successful when launched.

recy 2

Key -Ring Shopping Bag Concept

As pointed out in the above video , lucky 5 could identify itself with the process of idea generation .The original idea was to develop a key-ring shopping bag .The product was well accepted but the price remained too high for a grocery bag .We had no option than to go adjust our product by incremental change in the product development .

Lucky Concept 

We eventually though of creating and emotional bonding between the bag and our customers and thought of a concept that people would feel happy about having their shopping bag with them.However this concept we decided to give up on it because we did not have enough feedback and the little we had was not positive .Given that our customers are from the Uk .People tend to base their decisions on

Fashion concept 

After several prototyping , we decided to bring an incremental change in the product development of the key-ring shopping bag .The final product is an eco-friendly bag but to make it more interesting and appealing for the customers , we decided to add the element of fashion to the product .

The uniqueness of the bag 

In this respect , our team decided to focus the unique value proposition of the bag being it’s unique design .There are 12 unique patterns of the bag representing a specific place.We also had a more simpler version with less print for people who want a more discreet bag .We also focused on the uniqueness of the material we used to make the bag ,the Tyvec material.

Tyvec Material

Tyvec is known to be a very strong material used by many well-known branded companies.We decided to use this material to make the bag for it’s other added benefits, namely that it is waterproof , tear-resistant , people can even write their shopping list on the bag or simply use it to write some other notes that they want to have it handy with them.

rcy3

Lucky 5 as a lifestyle bag 

The lucky 5 bag is a bag that is a sweet shopping companion for people who like innovative and creative product and our focus is also the above average income people who are willing to pay for this type of product .

The learning experience to have been able to bring this incremental change many of the ideas was given to us when we mingled with customers and told us how they would use the bag or what other features that they might want to be included.

Below is a video illustrating how having prototypes is an important element in product development .Very often there is a gap between customer’s perception  and the producer’s mind.

Happy Reading

THANK YOU

thanks

 

My last blog for the year i decided to write about the Design Thinking Class itself .In my previous blogs i spoke quite a lot about some of the challenges experienced while doing the module but just like everything in life there are two sides of a coin .So this blog is more about the parts i like best and how i think it is a big contribution for the entrepreneurship people.

Learning has been quite special and different from what i am used to traditionally .The part i like best and has been very helpful be it in the course as much as i can easily relate to business situation when i was working and where i could use these guidance in real work scenarios .Some of the guest lecturers  namely Dan Lockton , Laura Ferrarello , Rob Grundel, Simon Hulme and Fazl Hasnain’s  has helped me understand better certain aspect of the Design Thinking that  i could not really grasp.I think learning from guest lecturers can be very helpful as we get to learn from people with experience in the field and when it comes to entrepreneurship , speaking for myself  i believe there is nothing more valuable than learning from people experiences as we always will pick up on things that can be very useful in future.I feel very happy that we get the chance to learn in a way that can only help us to become better professionals when we step out from university .

people-row-on-raft

The next part of the Design Thinking that personally i find very helpful , is building networking with all our classmates.As mentioned during the class when we were working on our own product , it is not about having competition within the different groups of the class but rather to help each other while we develop our own product/service and speaking again from personal experience, i made nice acquaintances that helped me while working on our product and we also happened to spend some nice time together.Working this way made me think that despite of the challenges we may come across to deliver our work , working in groups directly or indirectly has quite some advantages , not always easy but can be constructive if we all work towards our goals.

cookie

As we were close to finishing this first semester , all the groups in the Design Thinking class , we all went to the presentation with a lot of apprehension and having more or less same problems but we all ended up doing a nice job and we manage to come up with nice business ideas and get some constructive feedback for the next assessment. I think it would be helpful for  entrepreneurs to have guidance  like obtained during the Dragon’s Den and lesser startup failures.Feedback as we all know is one important step that can solve a lot of  problems at all levels be it in relationships as experienced during the group or regarding the work itself that we are conducting which brings us to the last section of the blog

emoticons

On this note i would like to say thank you to everyone who is part of the Design Thinking module namely guest lecturers, all the classmates , and  specially to our lecturers Janja Song and Richard Anson .It is not easy every Friday but thank you for giving us the chance  to  meet people in entrepreneurship world and more importantly thank you for helping us become better professionals.I will conclude with the following saying ;

saying

Have a great celebration everyone and let’s start 2016 brilliantly .

Happy Blogging 🙂

THE EXPERIENCE OF DRAGON’S DEN

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Three months back when i enrolled for the Design Thinking class our lecturer mentioned that  at the end of the fist part of the program ,our assignment would be to participate in the DRAGON’S DEN .Knowing slightly about it , and just the name itself brings quite some mixed feeling about the whole event .Reaching the end of this first semester , the pressure was getting bigger as now the days approached where each group would have to present their product /service to the board of the Dragon’s Den.

child on road

The good thing about the Design Thinking module , is more about hands on experience to develop ideal product /service that the selected customers we are targeting would adopt once they are available on the market.

A lot of startups despite they can come up with brilliant ideas to develop innovative products or services ,very often experience failure.This part of entrepreneurship has always intrigued me , of course failure is part of the risk one has to be willing to take when one chooses to start up a business Despite i had a lot of mixed feelings while we were working on the course when they introduced the lean canvas , i could not see or rather understand how effective it is to used such a business model at development stage of Product design .

I only came  to terms with understanding  the business model , lean canvas while developing the “key Ring Shopping holder” .As an entrepreneur , we have the picture of the ideal product/service we want to offer our customers but very often there is a big gap between reality and the entrepreneurs mind.Using the lean canvas can only help the  entrepreneurs bridge the gap by working on exactly what the customers really want .And this is how we shifted from creating the WALLET SHOPPING BAG , TO DIFFERENT TYPE OF KEY RING SHOPPING HOLDER. We saw other groups in the Design Thinking class experiencing same problem as us.I realised using this canvas can help an entrepreneur to understand really if  his project is viable or not .It can prove to be costly but like everything in life it is better to avoid wasting time on something that will not go anywhere and persists on trying making it work.

team

I like a lot the above definition of TEAM, but working in group also can be very challenging as everyone has their own experience and it looks a bit like the following picture the work process in a group.

child game

So the lucky 5 started working for the preparation of the DRAGON’S DEN and finally the big day arrive and we did our presentation . Listening to the members of jury made a lot of things clearer when working on our product , what are the things we need to pay more attention and others lesser .It makes a lot of sense why we should focus a lot on using the business model instead of concentrating on developing the end product and this can only help a group to see clearer how they want to proceed.The part i like more with the DRAGON’S DEN is about the feedback we obtained.It is important for entrepreneurs to understand certain important steps that are crucial for startups to succeed . Focusing on the end product might be the cause of why so many startups fail.

working-together-lumix-art

Along with the DRAGON’S DEN , team work and with feedback obtained though out the course with Janja Song and Richard Anson and all the guest lecturers , i think we are on the right track or at least have a good chance to develop a product that our selected market will adopt once available on the market .