This Big City

This Friday’s class

November 21, 2009
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This friday, I realised that we made the right decision when discarding our hamper business idea.

That was a joke.

Pricing is super important obviously, but we are planning on launching a free product so there is no pricing to do! However, there are expenses to consider and we will definitely be considering these over the next few Tshaped meetings.

I feel like class is no longer the area where most of my learning is coming from. Tshaped meetings are becoming more regular, our research more ambitious, and our developments are becoming more technological, and as I am learning so much from all of this, class seems to be losing its relevance.


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Reflecting on our visit from the young enterprise guys

November 21, 2009
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It was great to have the young enterprise guys come visit, although it was equal parts informing and disappointing.

The attitude we seem to be taking in our team is that even though we know we have a time limit on this business, we should treat it like a real business. We are pushing hard and not looking for easy routes to profit or turnover. Its an idea we all love and support, and even if we never make it to launch, I really believe that we will have learned an enormous amount from the experience. However, the guys from young enterprise seemed to suggest that because this wasnt a ‘real’ business they could justify some ridiculous rules about how we can operate our businesses. Ultimately, the only reason this isnt a real business is all these limits they chose to impose upon us. I’m not particularly bothered by this, I personally feel like we can set the rules ourselves as long as we don’t behave stupidly, but because we are being very ambitious with Tshaped it was a bit disheartening to hear 2 guys come in and suggest to us that the way to make money is selling tights and pencils. I’m really not bothered about turning a profit, I’m involved in this course and this project because i want to learn new and relevant skills for the next chapter in my life, and I don’t believe that selling tights and pencils is the way to get them.

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Pitch Reflections

November 11, 2009
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Hearing all the businesses pitch ideas at last weeks class was really interesting. It was great to see how teams had bonded, which roles people were playing, and all the exciting ideas being developed.

It was clear that some ideas were stronger than others, some teams had rushed their product development, and some teams didn’t present a united front. Overall, it seems that running a business is an incredibly hard task for everyone!

What surprised me is how few teams were heading down the digital product or service route. Our team are working digitally for many reasons, but one of the main ones is we believe that the skills we will achieve by doing this are desirable in the real world. An online presence is absolutely necessary for every company, and we believe that working as a digital design team will improve our employability once the MA is over. I can’t help but feel that people are scared by what they dont know and going physical as a result, which in my opinion is a short-sighted view.

We were happy with the feedback we received. Most people raised points we had considered during our product development, and we also had some questions that we will definitely be asking ourselves further down the line. Our idea seemed to meet a positive response, which is great for us. You can spend so much time on an idea and eventually become a little blind to it, so everyone’s feedback was much appreciated.

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Expanding ideas – Reflections on last weeks class

November 1, 2009
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Regular blogging has obviously become a very natural thing. Whilst attempting to expand the concepts behind our teams ideas last Friday, my first thought was ‘this will make a really good blog post!’ I might be completely wrong tho, it might be a terrible blog post but let’s get stuck in anyway.

It was interesting to consider that our product is basically based around ‘a source of information’. Even though i suppose many teams could sum up their ideas in this way, I feel like this simple concept will help me see new ways of interpreting our ideas that I may not have considered without thinking in this way. For example, a conversation is an exchange¬† of information, does this mean there are conversational concepts that could be incorporated into our ideas?

Thinking about the natural spread of information before technology got me thinking about word of mouth. When there was no TV, no newspapers, it took decades for information to spread across continents, now it literally takes seconds. No one would want to go back to word of mouth as sole communication, but are there ideas in this area that could improve our product even further?

It’s clear that this method of analysis has potential for new thoughts, whether these new thoughts can create genuinely new and relevant ideas remains to be seen on how we apply this method within our team, but I am hopeful.

When we talked about prototyping, it became clear to me that our team has been doing this quite a bit already. I disagree with Corrine when she said that sketching is one step further than prototyping, as whether you use a pencil, cut up bits of paper or role play, this is all basically sketching, and therefore all basically prototyping. The methods of research we have used in the past few weeks have covered many prototyping areas, but we haven’t done much play type prototyping. I must admit, I am doubtful as to whether it is a better way of working, but I definitely agree with the suggestion that peoples interactions with paper based prototyping allow for a purer reaction based on the concepts behind the idea rather than the visual effects on display.

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About author

Joe Peach is an Artist and Designer based in London, UK. At present, he is studying Sustainable Communities and the Creative Economy at Postgraduate level in Kingston University.