During these two weeks, I have been collecting feedback on our group’s venture idea. In my personal opinion, a great step forward for the public transport operators. An entertainment platform, only accessible through NFC tags in Stockholm’s public transport by using a smartphone or tablet. Sound cool, doesn’t it? Here is a summary of the feedback I received:
- I tried to collect feedback from five person with different background, here is a description of the people:
- A friend with no academic background
- A friend halfway through his studies in Computer and System Science
- A colleague from the marketing department of my current job
- A student (and friend) from KTH
- A man, much older than the four above. Age ~50.
- The feedback was in general very good. I realized that the description of the actual product is very important. As I was about to describe it to the last person, who lucky was the older man, I already knew which aspect that would be harder to explain, and already had adjusted this explanation, which maybe is the goal of this exercise. Anyway, all the younger people though that this idea was great and that they absolutely would use it was a part of the city’s public transport. I got a lot of feedback on the content of the website, and how companies could advertise here. The older man was a little more But he admitted that it was a great and modern product that probably would be used by the majority of the younger population but also by a big portion of his generation.
- This was very interesting to observe. I noticed that the two persons with a tech education asked the more advanced questions, about the actual execution of the idea. My colleague, a talented marketer, had his focus on the actual content. The older man addressed the question of easy functions and interface.
- The idea will not change after this, but rather gave me further motivation to continue working on this idea. What I actually learned was, as mentioned before,that the description of the product has to a very clear one; to travelers, companies with content on the platform and potential future investors.
My recommendation to those of you who have not collected feedback yet – try to be as diverse as possible when choosing these persons.
- Business Model Canvas and innovation
BMC was useful because it gives you good visual overview about your business and how the different blocks affecting to whole BMC and to other blocks. One important thing in BMC is that you should use different colours for different customer segments so BMC is clear and easy to read. BMC is a useful tool so I think I will use it in the future.
Picture 1. Gillette’s BMC.
Sometimes people think that an invention means an innovation which is not true. “An invention is a novel idea and innovation is the commercialization of that novel idea.” Creating a successful invention can be a lot harder and might requires a lot of money so that is one reason why big companies like Apple can create strong long lasting innovations. There are four types of innovations: technology, process, product/service and business model innovation. For me the most eye opening innovations were product/service and business model innovation because just changing those a little bit it might affect to your business income a lot. For example the right business model can be the main reason for the success, one good example about that is Spotify whose business model is totally different comparing to iTunes’ and that is their main reason for success.
- Approaches to Product Ideas
I liked this part because the way how you think is usually quite limited so getting better ideas you have to break the old chains. You should think really carefully what you really need and not need or how you can make your product more interesting for your customers. Variation of product attributes or functions is divided to 5 categories:
- Subtraction: Remove a key element.
- Multiplication: Copy a key element.
- Division: Dividing a product into components.
- Task unification: assign new task to exiting elements.
- Attribute dependency change: create new dependencies or break old ones.
Nophone was a good example about subtraction but the whole idea behind that is just a joke so is it really anymore subtraction when you remove almost all key elements? Like my friend said “I just created NoNophone which volume and weight is zero, and you can summon it by just using your imagination”. The example about camels and task unification was great because a camel is a lot more than just a carrier. Also the example about sprinklers and removing dependencies were really useful.
- Start Up Finance & Venture Capital
For me this part of the course was maybe the most important because getting an invention and if you want to rise it to innovation level or just get started you will need funding. Three the most common way to get funding are 3Fs & Bootstrapping, Debt financing and Equity financing. Understanding these financing opinions advantages and disadvantages generally helps you think which kind funding is good for your company. Very important part of equity financing was to know differences between angel investors and venture capital investors also when to use them, how they might affect, advantages and disadvantages.