Tag: week 1

Week 1: Business and Idea development

This week we worked on generating ideas and coming up with a business plan. This is the same stage we are at with the current assignment. The assignment for class is to come up with a business idea in groups and sll our products to raise money for our New York trip later this semester. The group who raises the most money will also be receiving a prize of some sort. This will add a competitive edge to the assignment and will hopefully lead to more money being raised for New York.

All in all I learned that early business planning can be difficult. It is always important to evaluate your business model very carefully and to address both micro and macro issues.

Week 1: Development of Business

Idea development is pretty hard when it comes to making one purely for money. If it was an idea for a game I’d probably have an easier time coming up with one (I can hear Emma laughing at me) but when it comes to business other factors come to play. One of the biggest problems is that I have little to no business experience so I barely know what those factors are until I bump into them through trial and error. The two biggest things I’ve seen come up in our group is cost efficiency and viability of the product itself.

A good idea would be a well researched one. By doing both past and present research one could know problems older companies faced as well as what their going to face presently. For example if one were to just do past research he wouldn’t know about any current trends occurring like business opportunities on the web. On the other hand, if someone were to just do present research he might make mistakes older companies made. Another advantage to present research is knowing what your competition is. If you were able to read that a current trend was profitable then it wouldn’t be strange that another company has already been made with a similar idea. You can of course try to compete with the company but your product would have have to been generally more well received through various means such as higher quality and better advertising. That puts a lot more work if your company is just a start-up. This is also why having a unique idea is important.

One business that I find interesting is Oculus with their Rift. I’m of course more interested in the product itself but it turned out to be so well researched that it took off well as a business. The founder keeps holding off the release of a commercial product because he’s activiley trying to avoid past mistakes older VR products made by releasing a product that doesn’t completely captivate customers at a reasonable price. I don’t think their making much profit with the Rifts themselves but their definitely making enough money to make progress towards their collective goal in virtual reality.

Week 1: Business Development

Business idea development is a process that becomes difficult as the initial idea starts fabricating. As creative minds, it’s easy to come up with big ideas that can seem outstanding, however lack practicality.Unlike ideas, resources aren’t always infinite, sometimes even the good ideas can complicate a very simple process, thus creating potential risks in the business. To avoid such complications, a business must do a thorough research and mold the idea in a way, so it doesn’t lose its taste, while its still practical to make it.

A good business idea is often an idea that has a perfect mix of creativity and practicality. In this day and age, there are many business ideas that are catering to the same target audience and for the exact need. What sets apart one from another is, how each of them tackles that need in their own unique way, while still keeping to a practical, profitable business recipe. Either they make a little leeway into creating more needs within that one need, or they introduce a cool product that serves that need differently. Also, another important factor that I personally feel sets a good business idea from a great is the, Customer service and Community based around the business. I feel all good business ideas, often have great customer service and an established community that self present he potential of the business idea to new customers. However, that does come way far down the road in terms of business idea development.

Market research is a very important step in business development process. The reason for its importance is, it gives the business a solid knowledge about the audience they are catering  to, and also a good list on what their competition is doing with similar ideas. This helps the business in developing the idea in a much more unique way compared to the perks that already exist out there. Also a business can know more in-dept about likings, and disliking of the specific target audience, and brand their product in an appropriate way. The closer it speaks to the target audience, the faster it will sell. Market research can also help the business avoid the mistakes that the competitors may have made in past. Also, the business can avoid having any weird overlaps with others, that might otherwise occur while serving a similar target audience.


Inspirational Business:

In terms of innovative business concepts I’ve always had a special place for the company Maker Bot. It’s a little common now when we speak about buying 3D printers for homes, however, some years ago this wasn’t possible. There are many small companies now that sell 3D printers, but Maker Bot was the first business that had made a lot of buzz about it and marketed in a way that would interest general public. The reason I think that succeeded in their business was, they targeted their product to the growing DIY trend of the time. They came out in a period when a lot of start-ups were kick starting, and were looking for cheap tools to prototype their products. This tool marketed extremely well for that target-audience. Also, the company did something really fun for generating a community of followers. They simply opened a community where people that have experienced this printer would show off their product, and they would also help each other with technical issues. This quickly showed potential of the product to people that would be thinking about investing in it. And lastly it was fairly cheap.

This day and time this company is still functioning and earning revenue. They had essentially come up with an idea that was unique and supporting of the growing culture of its time, which made it an interesting and successful company.

Week 1: Business and Idea Development

The starting stages of idea developing can be easy and fun, but once the main theme is settled and things start to get a more detailed, it can get quite complicated to see how well that idea might translate into the ‘real world’. Because of that, many great ideas might need to be put aside for the sheer fact of being too complex for what is really necessary (and this becomes even more real when time and budget constrictions are playing a big part). This sort of puts a limitation to how wild you can go on your brainstorming sessions, and, for me, it’s what makes idea developing so delicate – it’s necessary to find a balance between innovation and limitation, and this isn’t always easy.

From a business perspective, ideas are good when they’re both economically successful and unique (although unique might be part of the whole ‘economically successful’ thing). This sense of exclusivity is achieved not necessarily by how original said idea is – it can also result from a very well-kept secret, like companies who keep their formulas and business models to themselves. That’s why idea differentiation is so important – no brand already starts big and successful, they need to show that they are, in fact, a brand and not just a name, and have something that puts them apart from other similar companies.

One of the ways to find a place for your idea to be successful is through market research. It’s a very important part of solidifying an idea into a real product, allowing you to know how interested your potential public might be in your (also potential) product, or if there’s even really a potential public at all, or even if there’s any available spot on market that could be explored favorably. In my view, it’s the most important step of turning an idea into reality, since it basically helps to determine how successful that idea actually is, and can highlight what needs to change in order to achieve a respectable position in the market. It also allows you to become aware of how great your future competitors might be, or what they’re really selling and how that translates into actual numbers. A product doesn’t depend solely on people’s interest in it – people might be highly interested and still go for what’s cheaper, or more popular, or having any sort of appeal that your product might not have. That’s why it’s important to keep track of those who are selling products that are like yours.


Innovative business concept


In the last years, a lot of online stores – also known as product houses – have been the source of a small income for diverse artists. Before the advent of redbubble, society6 and many others, there weren’t many places for a starting artist – or even a professional one who happened to be unemployed – to sell their art. Art prints are in itself already not exactly a product on high demand, but having the same art printed on mugs, tote bags and shirts changes the situation, using a piece of work to create products that are much more on demand from the masses. With the ascension of internet popularity, this demand only increases.

Most of these stores work on a print-on-demand basis (meaning that shirts are only stamped with a certain piece of art when someone actually places an order for it), and artists are rewarded with a percentage of the price (in many companies, they don’t have a say in the percentage, but they can choose a minimum amount, which may increase the price of products and result in a not-so-successful business). While this isn’t the cup of tea of every artists and might not be an extremely profitable idea for many, it’s certainly advantageous for companies; it’s a smart idea based on the actual demand for a new market that could sell art in a much more profitable manner than art prints alone.

I don’t have much experience with other shops aside from society6, which, from my experience, is a comfortable place for artists to sell their art in a safe and profitable way.

Week 1: Developing A Business

Idea Development & Generation

The process of idea generation is simple in theory but more complicated  in practice when creating a product for a start-up company. It is important to not only let yourself be creative but also be  mindful and practical about the plausibility of the ideas you generate. While a completely novel idea may initially seem like a good business plan in itself, thoughtful analysis may prove otherwise. Proper introspection into what it takes to produce units, and the markets that business is targeting may actually reveal how viable your novel business venture is. This may initially seem limiting however in my experiences of generating a business doing market research will help focus and scope your idea.

One of the important aspects to consider in the analysis of your business plan is differentiation. Ensuring the product or service you are trying to sell is different from competitors’ can affect many parts of your business plan; Who your competitors are, who your target market should be, how your product or service can fill an unoccupied space in its marketplace, and if your idea is patent-able or infringing on copyright. Doing market research like this can help direct the way your business will need to adapt or change as well as identifying its strengths.

Innovation & Business: NuVu Innovation School

Nuvu is an innovate school for middle and high school students in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Their educational model focuses on a multi-disciplinary and collaborative approach to learning. Rather than separate courses with distinct subjects at Nuvu students work closely in studios with two coaches to solve specific or open-ended problems. Where traditional school systems grade work through assignments and tests, Nuvu does not give grades but rather students document all of their design decisions and show their final products in a portfolio of work. By focusing their attention on their students’ needs and working to solve specific problems NuVu is teaching their students how to solve problems from inception to completion. This focus on creative process, and producing a portfolio or work is an extremely innovative approach to learning, and produces very impressive work as showcased by the students studio work on the NuVu blog.



Week 1 Post: Experience of Developing and Running a Business

In this week’s class for Atelier, we learned about Idea Generation and Business Planning. In this topic we focused on Mullins 7 Domain Framework, which explains the different aspects we need to consider in terms of the market domain and the industry domain on a macro and micro level. We also have to consider our team domains and factors, along with the possible risks, success rates, and networks when we build a business. Some analysis tools that the team could use involves PESTLE, SWOT and the Porters 5 forces, where PESTLE allows us to think about the impact of outer factors in businesses, SWOT allows us to think about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a business, and Porter 5 forces allows us to consider the level of competition we have.


From my current and previous experiences of developing ideas for a business, it certainly is not easy to create one that can meet the guidelines. There are many factors to consider when creating a business. When one is given certain limitations or guidelines, the ideas become restricted. However, it is because the ideas become restricted that students are able to think farther outside the box, and combine certain ideas to make a new one that will follow the required guidelines. It is the matter of actually taking a further step to generate these ideas. Another difficulty when generating ideas is figuring out an idea for a target audience. In this particular assignment, my group focused primarily on other OCAD students, making it slightly harder on our part because we believed that OCAD students themselves could make anything that we create. If we were doing something based on Valentines Day, students may think that it would have been more meaningful if they created something themselves for their lovers. We needed to generate an idea that we have not yet seen in school, and that students are willing to pay money for.


On a business perspective, a good idea is generated when a different element is presented in the product that makes it unique in the market. The differentiation of the idea is essential in business. People enjoy seeing items they did not think of, cannot create themselves, or simply unique and worth the price. When all of these aspects are met, and sold to the right target audience, the business would become more successful. It is also important to have market research when creating a business because businesses want to know who the competitors are, and how their products are successful. Market research also allows businesses to comprehend possible business strategies and marketing themes that will get their product or service to sell. Market research tells businesses their market needs, market size, and possible competition, which helps the business grow. If a business knows of their competition, the business is able to go back and plan out possible ways to make their sales even more successful than the competitors. The key to a competitive business is to stay on top of the game. Knowing the competition will allow the business to strategically alter any marketing strategies, strengthen factors that are considered as weaknesses, and gain advantages in the product.

Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 11.26.30 PM

There is an organization called Keypers Cove that make different types of key pendants and sells them on Etsy. They are a very successful growing business because they have a strong marketing campaign. A few years ago, they started out displaying their works on DeviantArt, and advertising their Etsy shop for every new key they have created. They eventually picked up marketing on Facebook, which got them more followers. Since every key they make is hand made, there is a different style in each product; thus the uniqueness allowed them to price their pendants at a higher price. They also started a weekly draw to give out one key of the winner’s choice that was opened to anyone, even if they are not customers. This lead people to browse their shop more, potentially getting even more followers and buyers. Today, Keypers Cove has over 10,000 likes on Facebook alone. This strategy is effective because they took advantage of social media to help them get their name our first. By redirecting people to their store, they are able to advertise more products. Since these pendants are well made, these are potential gift ideas all year round. The source is also open internationally; meaning people all over the world are able to purchase their items. The target audience, although targeted more for girls and women, are large enough for them to become a very successful and unique business.

Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 11.28.19 PM

Use of this service is governed by the IT Acceptable Use and Web Technologies policies.
Privacy Notice: It is possible for your name, e-mail address, and/or student/staff/faculty UserID to be publicly revealed if you choose to use OCAD University Blogs.