As the crucial year ends now, it’s time to reflect on what was chosen, learnt and then executed. I had a variety of subjects to choose from, bearing in mind the best ones that could possibly widen my skills in a business/venture. Also, evolve me as an individual. This was when I chose the module New Ventures Designs. Design is something that affects every form of business. As Mr. Andrew Hargadon suggests that design is something that is willingly recognized as a vital part of business. They need to go beyond certain boundaries to establish a relationship between the making of a new product and innovation. (Hargadon, 2005) My professor Corrine Beaumont was an enthusiastic person who generously taught us new things as far as new ventures are concerned. Blogging is one good innovative way to express one’s ideas on an online platform. She showed us a different way to look at things. As of now, if I see a product or a business my mind continuously thinks of different ways in which a business can be run. In the coming years I plan to run a real estate business. The skills that I need for the same are managing finance, human resource, innovative techniques to lure customers and branding etc. Innovation is one thing that several companies strive to improve on. This was one topic that was always related to the other topics that we had learnt in the class. At the end of the year what I have learnt about innovation is that it is a process of combining all the resources together and bringing in a new better design of doing something or making a product.
The picture below can explain it in a better way. (Kelley, 2013)
As time passed by I started to think everything in the most creative way. This is when new ideas and thoughts came up in my mind. The first and the foremost thing that one should think of is to know their tribe in every way possible. This enhances the designing process in a great way. The more you try to know your customers and understand them; the better is it for the success of a venture. The demographics of the tribe can help to recognize all the appropriate approaches and decide what your services will be. (Wilson, 2009) According to me it’s very important for one to shape a business plan after meticulously understanding the needs and wants of the tribe. This is what can ultimately decide the future of the product or a service. Every assignment that we did had to be supported by some form of secondary or primary research. This is how everything can be known about our tribe.
One strange memory I have is when Corrine asked us to think innovatively as to what can really be done with a normal toothbrush that we use. I came up with the idea of having a cylindrical toothbrush which fits to the hand perfectly. The hollow area can be filled with liquid toothpaste which can be released only after a small button is pressed. This could save up on time and money. But yes not every idea is as good as it sounds. I think having such a toothbrush has its own limitations that outweigh the benefits of the same. Till then different innovative techniques can be thought of.
Another great topic that I had learnt during the course was branding. We all know what branding means but its imperative to comprehend how is it created. Brands develop a value after a certain period of time. For e.g. people who buy from high-end brands such as Gucci, Armani may not settle for anything less than that. It is the “good feeling” that customers derive when buying a particular product/service. Branding is a sort of recognition that identifies a particular service or a product. It differentiates it from its rivals. (Green Communications, 2006) I think branding could benefit my goal of owning a successful real estate company. The brand name of my company should be such that customers would know where the best quality work can be fetched.
Meanwhile, everyone had to complete an individual assignment and participate in the first Dragon’s Den competition. I was asked to come up with a new design proposal. Everyone was quite nervous in the class which is why Corrine came up with the idea of making us do some exercises that can help to break the nervousness. There is a picture below that shows all of it. Later, nervously I had presented the idea of having cardboard furniture at home. Go green. The Dragons liked my idea but I did lack to cover up certain areas of the topic. This feedback was very helpful at gauging some of the drawbacks of my idea. With the bright ideas competition I have professionally developed my skills of presenting in front of investors.
Well, everything was a lot easier in the next and the final group Dragon’s Den presentation. My team name was New Virgin Developments that included 3 members. We thought of a pair of biometrics shoe. Technology combined with innovation. Technology and innovation go hand in hand. While conducting this research, a vigorous primary research was undertaken by us. We had made sets of questionnaire for different people and surveyed as many people as we could to support our assumptions. We assigned tasks to every member including me. I was assigned to do the Persona research where in I had to find out the various emotional, physical and cognitive needs of one person. One the other hand, the financial and the marketing part was assigned to the other members of New Virgin Developments.
The Dragon’s thought our idea was unique. But we could not really cover up all the issues related of starting up a business. The whole process of completing this assignment actually gave me an idea of how a business is supposed to be run. For e.g. how is the money managed, the human resource required, land, loans taken, rent etc. It is very important to manage money because proper funding guides a business. No business can survive without proper management of funds in the company. Proper cash flow and managing your accounts accurately is what sets the business on a steady path. (Stephenson, 2014) Probably this is the greatest thing that i have learnt from this module.
The winner of the final Dragon’s Den competition was going to get £3000 as the prize money. Even though our group could not make it to the finals, the most important thing I acknowledged here was that there was stiff competition amongst all of us in the class. Everyone had their own good ideas. But Failure is a part of every business. We learn from it. This assignment really gave us the feel of how a business is run in the day to day life.
Although I have learnt a lot about new ventures, there is one thing that is common amongst us. We all learnt to work in a team. Proper collaboration is the key to success of any form of business. It is this team work that has helped me to complete my assignments and bring in a new dimension to my learning. I came across several people in my class, got to work with them. My perspective towards things changed to a great extent. Working in groups is a big task. But with good collaboration and understanding between the members of the group it is possible to make things trouble-free and uncomplicated.
Ultimately, I would like to conclude that Corrine Beaumont made this module a very interesting one by doing several activities in class. After all it all starts with a dot. This year was surely a fantastic one. Moreover, it was remarkable to learn new things everyday in class and widen our thought processes. This makes us all think not only in a different way but also about the concerns related to the same. If you have an idea, one should look for ways to make that idea work. I would not say that I could grasp everything in the class but yes I have learnt a lot. This will now give me a strong base and whole new outlook of running my own company in the future. Innovation is indeed a boon to a company regardless of the product/service it offers.
- Hargadon, A. (2005). Leading with vision: the design of new ventures. Design Management Review, 16(1), pp.33–39.
- Kelley, B. (2014). Innovation Excellence | Secret to Innovation Success Revealed!. [online] Innovationexcellence.com. Available at: http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2013/09/09/secret-to-innovation-success-revealed/ [Accessed 27 Apr. 2014].
- Wilson, E. (2009). Know your Target Market. Entrepreneur.
- Communications, G. (2006). Guide to Creating a Brand. 1st ed. [ebook] UK: Green Communications, p.2. Available at: http://www.greenblog.co.uk/files/guide-to-creating-a-brand.pdf [Accessed 27 Apr. 2014].
- Stephenson, J. (2014). The Basics of Money Management. [online] Entrepreneur. Available at: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/78994 [Accessed 27 Apr. 2014].