I need to gather feedback from 5 prospective customers regarding the ejector bed.

1) I interviewed a man named Joule-Felix from India. I met him in my student corridor, and I asked him what he thinks about using ejector bed to solve snoozing & sleeping. He said that he enjoys snoozing & oversleeping in the morning, and he thinks his whole day would be ruined due to stress if he got abruptly woken up by an ejector bed.

2) Then I interviewed a man named Anders Persson from Sweden. He is the course director for Micro- and Nanotechnology II, and I met him at the Rullan Restaurant at ITC. He asked me how I’m doing, and we started talking about my Entrepreneur School. I realized at this point that I now have the opportunity to add him to my list of interviewed people. So I told him that I had a project where we had to come up with an invention and pitch it. We talked about how it went, and other trivial talk. Then I told him that I came up with the Ejector Bed, and I explained to him what it is. Then after he commented it, I asked him what he thinks about it. Then he gave me the treasure I was looking for: he told me “it’s not for me“. I asked him “why not?“, and he said “it’s too brutal. I could have used it if it landed me on another bed“.

3) I also met Christopher, my classmate in Entrepreneur School. I asked him “hey, what do you think about the ejector bed?”, and he said “It’s a cool idea, but it’s nothing for me. I like to wake up nice & slow in the morning, and my morning would be ruined if I got flipped out of bed”

4) I also talked to Mahmoud, a former classmate who studies chemical engineering. He first jokingly said that he really needs this ejector bed. But then after I explained to him the motives behind the question, he told me a more detailed feedback: “The idea is funny and creative. It would work, but I wouldn’t buy it because I think that a good ringbell would work perfectly fine. Pros: you get up at the time that you want to get up, you have no other choices. Cons: This bed isn’t for couples, in case you’re two people sleeping together, and it emits lots of noise

5) And finally, I asked Dania, a member of my team at HackSpace. I asked her if she would buy it to help her get rid of oversleeping, and she replied:
Om jag blir kastad så där en enda gång😳 så kommer jag ta min kudde och mitt täcke och sova på golvet bara😁😁

So it seems like most people wouldn’t bother buying an ejector bed. This alone isn’t enough to make me give up the idea of marketing the ejector bed, but I will give up the marketing of ejector bed because of several reasons, and this is just one of them. Another reason for giving up the marketing of ejector bed is because there are other business models that seem more profitable

I ordered a batch of 50 dipping bowls made of leaf, from Leafymade AB. I don’t know when they will arrive (because no info was given about that), and I could have told the founder to inform the customers when the product will arrive. But each person has a certain level of stress tolerance and I think it would be more productive for him to receive negative feedback in small portions instead of getting a mountain of negative feedback dumped on him. I don’t wanna overload his stress capacity, so I abstained from telling him to put info on when the product arrives.

However, the products are made in India, after all, so there’s a big risk that the product may not arrive within the next 1-2 weeks (the time we have left to finish our tasks at Value Creation course). So I cannot wait until the product arrives, and I decided to give him feedback instead on the web service provided to web customers. Here’s the feedback that I emailed to him:


______________________________________________________________________________

Hey Suman!

I just ordered a package of dip-bowls made of leaf from you, and I have some feedback to help you improve as a company:

I think your business idea is great in general, especially the fact that you provide a more sustainable alternative to plastic bowls, and the fact that you pay a high salary to the people who produce it. But there are also some things you could improve. For example, I live in Uppsala and I think it’s ridiculous that I have to pay 50kr extra for transport when I could instead just ride my bike to your office in Uppsala and pick them up. If the transportation costs are because you have to ship from India, then I think it would be better if you order a large batch of these natural products and have them in store here in Uppsala, so that the transportation cost per unit will be lower and thus the product more attractive to customers in Uppsala (and Sweden in general).

You could make a local storage anywhere in the world, but the reason I’m emphasizing Uppsala is because you already have an office here and you can maximize the utility of your Uppsala office space by using part of that space as a storage. And another reason for making a storage here in Uppsala is because if you have an office here, then you probably spend a lot more time in Uppsala than elsewhere – and therefore you’ll be making more customers  here in Uppsala than elsewhere (through your social interactions with other people). And when you have more demand here in Uppsala/Sweden, you need to couple that demand with supply in order to make money. 

Good luck with your startup! I hope it will grow and be successful 🙂

Kind regards
Amir

Tuesday, October 29, 2019. We had a lecture from Serdar where we basically summarized the Business Value Creation course. Everybody wrote down on the board a mindmap of how they view the course, and then later everybody commented on each others’ mindmaps. We had discussions about it in-class. I noticed that nobody mentioned the fact that the customers pay for the total customer experience.

Serdar tried to pose in this picture, and he’s really happy because he thought that he was the main feature of the picture. But I waited until he finished posing, and he missed it, haha! 😀
Later, I realized that “maybe I should include Serdar in the picture after all?”, and so I intended to photo Serdar because he tried to pose in the picture the same way that Farangis is now posing in this picture. But now I got at least Farangis! 🙂

Today, Friday the 25th October, I visited the startup company SoftRobot in Uppsala. I got invited because I met a manager from that company at the train on my way to a Trainee event in Stockholm. We were sitting with each other on the train and got to know each other, and he liked me and invited me for a meeting at his company.

So today, I went to that meeting and we introduced ourselves to each other (it was almost like a job interview where it was mostly him asking questions about me rather than the other way around).

Then he invited me to check out his website, and I did so, and I gave him feedback by telling him that when you register on the website, and if you select your industrial area as “other” (from a list of options), then his company should put up a text box where people can write more specifically which industry they’re in so that the company SoftRobot can get more information about their customers.

Idag hade vi föreläsning i affärsjuridik, och nu när jag ska sammanfatta affärsjuridiken så skulle jag säga att “kunskap är makt”. Jag har redan hört det uttrycket förut, men affärsjuridiken gav mig en djupare insikt i hur det ser ut i praktiken. Det funkar nämligen så att ju mer folk vet om dig, desto större förmåga de kommer ha att påverka dig. Och för att de andra ska ha bästa möjliga inverkan på dig, så måste man överväga vilken information man ger till vilka personer. Olika information har olika potential att användas till att antingen gynna dig eller skada dig, och olika personer har olika tendens att försöka gynna dig eller försöka skada dig. Då behöver man vara strategisk med sin informationsdelning så att rätt information kommer till rätt personer, samtidigt som man undviker att fel information kommer till fel personer. Och för att åstadkomma detta, så måste man tänka innan man pratar.

Today we were negotiating share prices with the investors, and I learned a lot of things. It was a tough experience with great long-term benefits.

We had 130 as the goal price for our stocks, but we made the mistake of proposing 130 as the initial price. We didn’t realize until too late that the agreed price will be a middle point between the proposed prices of the two parties in the negotiation, and the seller will always try to push the price higher while the buyer will try to push the price lower.

First of all, we shouldn’t have stated our proposed price during the presentation – we need to keep the proposed price flexible across the different investors to ensure that each investor pays the maximal price that they’re capable of – and different investors have different payment capacities.

Second, we should have proposed a price that’s at least twice as high as the goal price. This would ensure that the “middle point” between the proposed prices from both sides will favor our side by being more expensive, and this would even give us a good chance of excelling the goal price.

Third, we should have divided ourselves so that the best negotiator among us does all the negotiating single-handedly while the other three group members are stationed to observe the negotiations of each investor – one group member per investor. This would enable us to use each investors’ negotiation history as an argument to say “you gave them this deal, so we should match it or else it won’t be fair”.

On Tuesday the 8th October, we had a long lecture starting with Åsa and ending with Serdar. We practiced negotiation with Åsa and I think that was really excellent lecture and I truly learned something useful and I really enjoyed it. I knew in theory the importance of bargain power and which principles I need to use to successfully negotiate – but knowing it is not enough. Then, at Serdar’s lecture, we had a lot of miscellaneous things. For example, we agreed on which date to have our examination for the legal module.

And another interesting thing from Serdar’s lecture is that I learned why people choose Common Stock instead of Preferred Stock when the latter gives higher rate of financial return: if the investor thinks the management team is stupid and that the company will crash without the investors’ advice, and if the company is otherwise very potent, then the investor can intervene by buying common stock (at the expense of somewhat reduced nominal rate of return) to get access to the management board of the company to intervene in the the company’s self-destructive foolishness. I guess the investors we will meet tomorrow on Thursday are indirectly trying to say that we’re incompetent, because they will talk only common stocks rather than preferred stocks.

Today, Thursday, September 3, I had a lecture with Serdar & the class. We were discussing the examination project and the simulation, and we made fun of the broken fire alarm – some compared it to a drilling machine while others compared it to a cat purring.

At the end, I asked Serdar if we were allowed to use negative descriptions of our competitors during the investor round. He said no, and some classmates agreed with him and explained why they thought that way.

Now that I think about it, I realize that different people have different moral values depending on their cultural background. Honesty and politeness are both important moral qualities – the former is needed to get an accurate idea of what’s happening in the world, and the latter is needed to maintain synergetic relations with others. And most people would agree with that. But in some situations, these two can get in conflict with each other and the question is “which one should you prioritize?”

Different cultures will answer this question differently. The Swedish and Canadian culture will say that politeness takes priority and that those who choose otherwise are “rude, disrespectful & arrogant”. But Russian and American culture will say that honesty takes priority and that those who choose otherwise are “shy, afraid & confusing”.

I realize that when you interact with other people (for example when selling products to international customers, or pitching to investors), you need to closely observe what moral values are incorporated in their culture. If you prioritize ethical & practical goals differently than your counterparts, then the counterpart will dislike you and it will be harder to get along with them and form a synergistic relationship with them. This synergistic relationship could be customers who could have bought your products. And this synergistic relationship could be investors that could have invested money into your company. And this synergistic relationship could be a lot of other things that could have benefited you.

So if you want to maximize business success, you need to get along with others. And if you want to get along with others, you need to adapt your behavior to their ethical & practical values – within reasonable limits.

I attended a startup event last Tuesday (1 October) from TEMA Biotechnologies. I found the event at a lecture hosted by Serdar, and I found it right in front of me in the classroom. I met with Allan Simpson, Ulf Landgren and Mr. AA. My experience was that they were really happy and enthusiastic – I could see on their body language how passionate they were to help people get cured from cancer. I think it was a fun presentation, but I didn’t understand most of what he said.

Mr. AA sharing his contact info with the audience.
Allan Simpson looking at the audience in a relaxed manner
Mr. AA enthusiastically presents his mission.

I went to Rudbeckslaboratoriet in Uppsala Science Park, on September 27 during lunch time. I found this event through the forum on studentportalen, posted by Serdar. During the event, I met with Peter Bergsten and Helena Danielson. The experience was kinda boring but I learned a few useful things – for example Peter said that his biggest mistake was to discuss the research results that he was about to patent and that his talk mate published the results. Peter said that he really enjoys discussing these research subjects and that he should have been more careful.

Both Peter and Helena were doing presentations, and Helena told during her presentation that she really enjoys answering the question “why?” and that this is what drives her and motivates her. So during the question session, I asked “why are you interested in answering the question ‘why’?”. Everybody laughed, and she said that nobody asked that question before. After thinking for a while, she said something along the lines of “I don’t know, that’s just the way it is” and “sometimes I’m being curious when I know I shouldn’t be”.

Figure 1: Peter Bergsten and Helena Danielson during the presentation.
Figure 2: Peter Bergsten shared his email address with an audience member after the presentation