Reflective Essay

This for me was my final year I knew I would have to work hard as the pressure was on I it would not be so calm as the previous years. I choose ENVD as I wanted to stretch my learning abilities and look for information to places that I would not look in. The idea of expanding our minds and deciphering the foundations of being an entrepreneur, addressing the feasibility of ideas in a creative and innovative way, to help visualise processes of thought made it completely distinct to other modules.

 

The format of classes within the year was unique with emphasis on group and creative interactions, providing critical help when putting forward and ideas and analysing the different dimensions of it. Furthermore the lectures took step by step stages where they took us as a class through the stages on idea creation, experimentation (toothbrush day), feasibility and so on, this process made the lessons learnt from it rewarding enough and slowly help build confidence and techniques in evaluating ideas and there potential. And days like the toothbrush day helped discover the truth and worth of any innovative idea and how we should seek to innovate wherever possible.

 

The lectures stretch my potential in terms of using a persons imagination, what stood out with me personally would be ‘Communicating Your Idea’. This drawed on previous lectures of need identification and how that disseminated into cognitive, emotional and physical needs that would needed to have your idea to work. This main foundation was for any innovative idea whether it could meet these needs was prominent in key assignments that where undertaken. And this was conveyed through storytelling a prime example Corrine gave us was the ‘Girl Effect’, this short video conveyed these 3 needs presenting a message of a coherent vision of the world and organizing facts in new ways. In addition it used empathy to experience something you can’t experience, and there are more ways to tell a story and how that can evolve into something else – http://macekingston.wordpress.com/2011/10/07/sharing-empathy-through-storytelling-personas/ . Story’s are part of culture; they communicate values making them memorable and eye-catching and help us infer causality and relationships.

 

Another lecture which stood out for me was ‘Marketing, Design & Branding’. Here Corrine identified that the storytelling we did in previous lectures impacts on what our brand is and our brand is important – http://newbrandstories.com/ . This lecture was informative and offered great insight into the ideas of branding especially how important it is, how it is linked in with marketing and what you are trying to put across with that brand image/logo. The future for branding is important more than ever in this digital era – http://www.briansolis.com/2012/03/the-importance-of-brand-in-an-era-of-digital-darwinism/ .

 

Bright Ideas for me put things into context businesses creating a competitive nature and the process of ideas being created and placed to precision that things can be understood clearly. Entering the ideas even if I didn’t win installed confidence that my idea itself even though it wasn’t something could get so far. Bright Ideas was for me fun and was something innovative at play and it was that playfulness to help develop an idea is something that helps motivate us to be more creative – http://the99percent.com/articles/7080/IDEO-Big-Innovation-Lives-Right-on-the-Edge-of-Ridiculous-Ideas .

 

Dragons Den experiences overall offered up a challenge in creating a feasible idea based on what we have learnt offering up honest criticisms and feedback on the ideas presented to them. I put all my effort into the final business plan and made sure all the tasks where completed making sure that everything was done correctly and to the best of the group’s ability. Overall I found the group experience enjoyable organizing routines to meet and adjusting for each member’s needs and requirements in terms of writing up sections of the canvas. This experience allowed me to apply the skills that we had been taught in previous ENVD lectures into practice most likely standing up and presenting the idea to the Dragon’s.

 

For the final presentation I was confident that it would go smoothly, we had practised for a few times and where well in the time limit so it was second nature to us. We developed it so the pitch was to the point and allow questions to be asked as well as keeping within the limits. For the class and presentation we showed the potential, growth and steps we had taken to develop the idea. The presentation helped develop skills in interacting and dealing with people directly incorporating the networking skills developed from the Bright Ideas competition.

 

For me the penultimate lecture of the year where Corrine put forward to us ‘What do you want in life?’ looking at the philosophical view of entrepreneurship by reading Clay Christensen’s address to the Harvard Business School students in 2010, put things in perspective of what I have achieved over this final year in ENVD. And when listening to the speech I was quite moved by it and especially what had happened to the person writing it, to install that unique viewpoint was interesting and made me remember a photographer I saw on Google+ which when I saw install a similar emotion to what was being read – https://plus.google.com/photos/114153859732710523651/albums/5724540824438578737 .

 

I would say on a final note that my attendance to the class was above 80% and that I feel proud of that but what I would most like to comment, was that though work set I was organized, I lack which for me personally I see as a flaw was the completion of the blogs with the introduction to WordPress. This idea was new to me and therefore I lack skill and motivation to summarise what had been learnt and its benefits to us from lectures, I see now I should have prioritised better in organizing the time and self-motivate a way to incentivised reason to write the blog’s but I did not and that is something I regret now. The future, businesses themselves are not organism but instead are dynamic creations anticipating and co-creating assumption – ‘Levie & Lichtenstein (2009)’

 

References

Levie, J. & Lichtenstein, B.B. (2009) A Terminal Assessment of Stages Theory:

Introducing a Dynamic States Approach to Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, pp.1-61

 

99 Percent.com. (2010) IDEO: Big Innovation Lives Right on the Edge of Ridiculous Ideas, Available at: http://the99percent.com/articles/7080/IDEO-Big-Innovation-Lives-Right-on-the-Edge-of-Ridiculous-Ideas . [Accessed 24/04/12]

 

Brain Solis. (2012) The Importance of Brand in an Era of Digital Darwinism, Available at: http://www.briansolis.com/2012/03/the-importance-of-brand-in-an-era-of-digital-darwinism/ [Accessed 24/04/12]

 

Leodor Selenier. (2012) The Tutu Project | Breast Cancer Awareness, Available at: https://plus.google.com/photos/114153859732710523651/albums/5724540824438578737 [Accessed 24/04/12]

 

MAC Kingston. (2011) Sharing empathy through storytelling & personas, Available at: http://macekingston.wordpress.com/2011/10/07/sharing-empathy-through-storytelling-personas/ [Accessed 24/04/12]

 

New Brand Stories. (2012)Storytelling to create impact brands, Available at: http://newbrandstories.com/ [Accessed 24/04/12]

Surgery for final report, guest judges review.

This I was nervous for it would not be like the actual Dragons presentation but it would give me an idea as to what flaws that haven’t been address could the Dragon’s see in this idea. What it consisted of was the group presenting their idea to the dragon that had volunteered their time to summarise their idea and look over and identify flaws.

 

For this I printed of the business plan that we as a group had completed and presented the idea to the Dragon this was under a 10 minute limit and was key in helping understand the format of what the assessment presentation might be like. For our I presented the idea and to my surprise received positive reviews about the idea with little or no criticisms of any flaws that their where, though it wasn’t too perfect with minor flaws being:

  • the need for an maintenance worker to fix damaged lockers,
  • the potential of linking with supermarkets with their ‘click and collect’ system,
  • and address the issue of the infrastructure for the deliver company on putting the items in the locker.

 

This for me were minor details which could easily be amened into the business plan itself, in addition I found that when summerising each group idea the dragon explain that my presentation and idea shows real value and potential for the company to actually work in a real life setting. This complement and other information I relaid to my other group members that where not present. But what I gain from this is that the planning needs to be intense and areas to be well looked over because the result would be a positive with few amendments to be made. But I also found out that I could take criticism and that I can easily be able to adjust the things that needs to be adjust with relative ease as things need to adapt because on the important viewpoint I had taken in.

Surgery for final report. Peer review.

This was a common theme running through all the modules this past couple of weeks. As when entering the lecture we where given an peer review sheet, in which we were to express our feelings on the module and both good and bad suggest improvements that could be made or areas to highlight that gave special identification to. This for me was interesting though in my opinion I don’t seem to think that most of the student take this serious and just generally are intrigued at adding things to which they think they would probably like or hate. This for me was of no concern and I felt that though this was a good way to identify issues like that we where to be told doing in the next lecture it was of a less of a priority for me as I only seek to finish the business plan to a most reasonably quality.

 

Afterwards Corrine talked about what we are doing now and afterwards from the course in terms of being and entrepreneur and drawing from what we have learnt to be applied in our current life. This for me started a philosophical turning point in the lecture where the discussion of ideas and imagination and feasibility left to go with the what are we doing in the future etc. This lead on to the speech by Clay Christensen who spoke at the Harvard Business School to students, Corrine read this to us and for me it got me thinking of the future. What really moved me was what Corrine explained to us about Clay Christensen and his life and the trouble that he had in it. This for me got me thinking a lot about life and its realities and the possibilities for the future that there are, it also got me addressing things that I have seen previously on Google+ by a photographer who had not gone through a dissimilar outlook on life.

 

Tell the class what you did last week. Instructions on the final report & presentation.

This for me was a little nervous none of my group where present for this and that I would have to be presenting and explaining my results from the 2 week experimentation all by myself. But my knowledge on the research that I had done and the fact that in the previous week I had spoken to members of my group on the sections that I would be talking about for that lecture made me a little confident.

 

What I was explaining for this was the key competitors that had been identified within the area of the market locker service and explaining how they are differentiated to us in providing a service. In addition I addressed the issue of the items being supplied to the locker identifying this as a key activities and resources stating also the facts and reasoning behind the assumptions that had been made the and solutions and how the model for us had to change. Furthermore looking and identification that the cost factoring would be an important part which would determine many things.

 

In my opinion I would have liked it if some effort was made on the part of my group members to come to the lecture but I understood that they have an inconvenient time to attend the lecture this for me was a comment noted by most of the people in the class that no one was in that space presenting with me. Moreover looking at the other groups I felt that the experiment I had conducted where inadequate in the other groups used power-point presentations, videos and website design to show what they had done within their 2 weeks, but for me it was just standing there in front of everyone summing up from some notes but that did not bother me and just made me more determined to finish the report properly .

 

Test a section of your business model outside of class with your team.

This was another time in which we had to test a part of our business model canvas but instead of 1 week we had 2 weeks this allowed for twice the experimentation and allowed for the writing of the report to start the reason being that at some point this would have been need to be done and it was best to start now then to leave it to later.

 

What was decided in a few meetings was that each sections of the business canvas would be needed to be split up amongst each of the group to which the experiments would be jointly done but the write up would be singular. We also explain to each other that the experiments themselves would have to be different ans using the same test for each section would be pointless and would not identify the key themes of the section of the plan.

 

An additional task was set for the completion of the testing results for next lecture which was left up to me to complete this was instead of a questionnaire would be simple research and adaptation to how the locker service would work in identifying the key activities needed for the lockers to work.

Tell the class what you did last week.

This was a simple lecture where we had to explain and show the results that we had complied and the tests that we had done.

 

For our group what we did was that we used an questionnaire to identify certain areas on the business canvas and to also identify within them the cognitive, emotional and physical needs for the customer. What we then had to to is compile the results in the pictorial format so that it could be displayed to the class and then explained what this means and what assumptions we tested.

 

For us as a group the assumption that this was a key and valuable service had been proved correct and that we had identified an feasible idea while at the same time identifying the customer segments to which we would target any promotional/service material towards.

 

But in my opinion looking at the results if the experiment that the other groups had done seeing their research or explanations for changes it seemed to me that the effort put into or experiment was not much and possibly could have been more. In addition to the presentations Corrine also explained to class the method in properly conducting an questionnaire to which we had to take account of because of the effect it would have on the results gained from it which was quite informative for me and would help in any further designs should any more questionnaires be needed.

 

Test a section of your business model outside of class with your team.

This was the first of many lectures in which we would have to test an area of the business model canvas outside the lecture itself this for us based on what Corrine told us would be the experimentation part of our business plan and would go towards proof of concept.

 

For our group this at first was hard to achieve the reason being that most of us had inadequate times in which we where available to meet, but when we did meet up we where able to design an structure for a questionnaire to define the feasibility of the idea. What we wanted from this questionnaire was to see what our customer segments would be and what they would want from the locker system in terms of value.

 

Furthermore we wanted to get an idea overall whether what I had suggested had been feasibility to begin with, this would be the foundation of future experiments and the overall starting point for creating the business plan and the writing up the report with proof of concept. What we thought for writing the questionnaire would be to ask the basic questions to identify the customer segment then this would lead on to the most relative and important questions which relate to the lockers themselves this would identify the value end of the business canvas. What we decided for the questionnaire was that each would be separated between each of the members of the group to which we would meet before and put together to which we would present to the class when it came to it.

 

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