I enjoyed the Kickstarter assignment from this week as it was something new that I had never done before and I thought that some of the concepts were really interesting. The product I chose- The Ostrich Pillow, is quite similar to what some people might consider a novelty product. I thought the desirability aspect of it was probably easiest to evaluate because I could understand it from a customer point of view. In terms of function, the product makes sense because it is tapping into a need that many individuals experience and it is something that I personally relate to. The hardest part to evaluate was the feasibility of it because I feel like there are several economic factors that I am not currently aware of with the process of making this product, and several issues that could arise unexpectedly once production has started. As far as I can tell, it is a unique idea with a lot of potential, and I would consider buying it if I saw it on a shelf today.
Our product idea is essentially an app that allows you to enter food items currently available in your fridge which will then populate a list of recipes that use those food items. This will aid people who are usually in a predicament of not knowing what to make for lunch/dinner, or for those who don’t want to have to spend money and buy more food that what they already have. Our data collection therefore involves a lot of initial observation to determine how people make food choices, how they purchase food products, and their general habits. Because this is more discrete, I did a lot of observation of University of Guelph students and how they pack their lunches. I noticed that a lot of students like to pack chopped vegetables and fruit and snack throughout the day so the idea of convenience is very important to them. We haven’t met with any extreme users yet but I believe that this will be the next step. So far we have a pretty good gist of who our customer segments will be, but we will certainly be doing more exploring!
After watching the team at IDEO redesign a shopping cart under tight time constraints, the thing that stood out the most to me is the organizational culture. There is a reason that there products have been used in millions of different electronic or household items whether they are in movies or in everyday life. It is because each innovation is born out of a group mind- each member with their own diverse background and perspective, ultimately being able to capture a majority of needs. Things that stood out to be the most were the fact that these people were willing to work for long hours, some who had to stay up all night, because they were working on something they believed in, that was exciting to them and that they all contributed to together. It was noted that one of the members is a Biology major, who turned down medical school three times just because he was having ‘too much fun’ at IDEO. This is similar to how I feel when I’m doing anything creative. I am a firm believer in the fact that if you are lucky enough to find a passion in life, your should stick to it; and if you can imagine yourself doing something for free, that is the thing that will give you the most joy in life.
It seems really obvious that the team at IDEO love what they do- not only because they get to share their expertise, but because of the mantras being promoted at IDEO like “Enlightened trial and error succeeds over the planning of the lone genius”, “Fail often, in order to succeed sooner”, “One conversation at a time”, “Encourage wild ideas” etc. All of these mantras contribute to an innovative and free environment where team members feel safe and are able to bring up ideas whether they are good or bad because they will lead to something else. At the end of the day the world runs on ideas. Someone’s idea to make life easier or more efficient will affect everyone around them and therefore make the world more efficient. To me this video is an example of an exceptional company that allows their employees to be who they are, while making the world a better place.