Elham’s Reflective Essay..A Note to My Future Self.

Reflective learning is where one reflects on their learning experiences and uses them to draw lessons for the future (Kolb, 1984). This reflective essay focuses on my learning experience as part of creating and presenting a business idea and the overall experience of participating in the Design Thinking for Startups module. In this essay, I will provide examples of learning experiences gained over the past 7 months (October 2019 to April 2020) and explain how these experiences are helpful in allowing me to achieve my future objective of opening my own restaurant.

My intention when applying for my current course at Kingston University was to gain a detailed knowledge that would be practically relevant in helping me to pursue my career as a restaurant owner in the future, potentially begin with a one restaurant and expand the chain. Although I had the idea of what I wanted to do in the future, the precise entrepreneurial know-how and practical experience was lacking. This motivated me to be part of the Master’s programme. Completing the Design Thinking module provided me a unique opportunity to not only learn about various relevant theoretical concepts but most importantly, have an opportunity to apply these concepts in practice. The entire module presented a great learning opportunity.

When our group was formed, the brainstorming and the ideas generated were not effective, as we had focused on a suitable product/ service we could provide, without concentrating on the problems. A product or service idea that is not based on the problem faced by the target market is unlikely to be successful in the long-term (Manzini, 2014). It was only after speaking to the lecturer and gaining a better understanding of the design thinking that I understood what we were doing was ineffective. Rather than engaging in design thinking and employing the characteristics such as empathy, optimism, integrative thinking, collaboration and experimentalism (Brown, 2008), we had merely used the deductive analysis.

Once we had learnt the lean canvas in module (figure A), we were excited to apply the framework to focus on the top three problems faced by the customers to devise a suitable solution, with a specific focus on unique value proposition that would help to differentiate our offering from the competition (Osterwalder and Pigneur, 2010; Maurya, 2012). As I am enthusiastic about the restaurant industry, I focused on various problems within the industry. The problem we identified was the inability of people to find a seat in restaurants/ cafés during the peak hours or their unwillingness to sit there and have their meal. Brainstorming along with the design thinking helped us to arrive at the potential solution of Easy-out, a mobile, foldable tray made using bamboo with an adjustable neck strap that allows the customers to carry their meal effortlessly.

Figure A:Lean Canvas.
Source :Maurya (2012)
.

Our product as a solution to the problem we identified illustrates integrative thinking, which involves going beyond slight improvements to the existing products (Kelley and Kelley, 2015). The idea appeared attractive due to its novelty. However, we had to figure out whether there is a potential for the product in the market by speaking to the target customers.

Thus, the lesson for my future self who is the owner of a restaurant is this: when looking to engage in design thinking and innovation, rather than focusing on the products, processes or services that I could introduce in my restaurant, I should focus on the problems that my customers are facing and use the combination of empathy, integrative thinking and optimism to arrive at a solution. Integrative thinking is particularly important. Being able to imagine the future world from the perspective of various stakeholders (i.e. customers, suppliers, employees etc.) helps to improve the flow of ideas and solutions among design thinkers (Brown, 2009; O’Grady and ’Grady, 2009).

The lean start-up thinking (Ries, 2011) is highly important when developing a suitable product/ service to serve the needs in the market. Although there are several components of the lean start-up, my team and I mainly used the build-measure-learn feedback loop and the minimum viable product criteria. The lean canvas served as a basis during the development stage for us to map the problems and solutions. The combination of lean startup, build-measure-learn feedback loop and lean start-up thinking as a whole (Maurya, 2012) has worked very well during this experience. It has made me confident that I can continue to utilise this approach and thinking as a restaurant owner in the future.

Gaining opinion and feedback from target customers (market research) is a vital step to ensure that our product is appropriate. As we drew inspiration from a woman standing outside a café in Kinston as a basis for our product, we had decided on the 25-34 year old as a target market. The two trade fairs (i.e. first one at Kingston Business School in January 2020 and the second at Eden Walk) provided an ideal setting for us to engage with the potential customers to find out further about our product. Through interacting with the customers, in line with the lean start-up thinking approach (figure B), we were able to develop the foldable tray incrementally, adapting it after each specific variation of the feedback loop. For instance, third prototype incorporated the adjustable strap, which allowed us to broaden the target market we could reach through the product. Additionally, the feedback and subsequent variation helped us to develop a flat tray as a third prototype, extending the usefulness of the foldable tray to activities beyond being used for eating only (figure C). The primary research revealed that female customers were more interested in our product compared to the male market, which helped us to formulate the marketing strategy accordingly.

For my restaurant, this learning experience offers a useful lesson: when devising a solution to the problem I have identified, I should not make an assumption (e.g. that the product devised would appeal to all types of customers). As I have learnt in my current experience, only female customers found the idea of foldable tray as appealing. Additionally, I should always remain open to the possibility to extending the core and augmented features of the product. For instance, initially the foldable tray was only considered as a suitable product to address the issue of eating. However, as design thinkers pose questions and continuously explore constraints and possibilities (Beckman and Barry, 2007), it helps to formulate novel solutions that enable the product/ service devised to be multi-functional.

I have also learnt that customers normally do not divulge the information easily. For my restaurant business, I would attempt to gather primary data through using a variety of research methods such as face to face and online questionnaires, observations, interviews and focus groups. Various methods will help me to uncover detailed insights (Davis et al., 2016), and use the findings to inform my business decisions.             

Figure B:The lean start -up thinking.
Source:Ries(2010)

Phase 1
phase 2
Phase 3

Figure C: Prototype development.

Establishing a successful start-up not only involves paying attention to the customer needs and translating the findings into a successful product idea but also ensuring the product is delivered by the supplier as expected (Dorst, 2015). A major challenge we faced was the difficulty in finding a reliable and trustworthy supplier. The first supplier we used proved to be unreliable. He was a carpenter and we felt he did not truly understand the underlying concept and the product we wanted. Our inability to have a smooth conversation with the supplier also contributed to the inability of the supplier to meet our expectations, as reflected in the first prototype (figure C). This made me realise the importance of having a final product, when gaining customer feedback. Without having the product, the feedback generated from potential customers was not as meaningful because customers had not seen the final product and therefore, would not comment on whether they would buy it and at what price they are willing to buy.

Another lesson for my future self who is the owner of a restaurant is this: pay attention not only to the customers but also to the suppliers as an important stakeholder, especially when devising a new product. The new product idea is only as good as the actual product delivered by the supplier. If the product is incompatible with the idea and does not conform to the design or quality standards, the customers are unlikely to buy it. Moreover, also have a contingency plan in place, so that any unexpected situation (e.g. unreliable supplier) can be dealt with appropriately. I will make sure that I am not reliant on a single supplier, when buying the various ingredients for my restaurant.    

Even though there are various pricing strategies that can be employed by a start-up business (e.g. value-based pricing, market skimming, market penetration, competitor-based and cost-plus pricing), we have learnt that a suitable pricing strategy is influenced by the level of competition in the industry and willingness of customers to pay a particular price. For instance, novel nature of our product implied a lack of direct competition. This, along with the low-price sensitivity of consumers meant that value-based pricing strategy was considered suitable in this situation, as it helped us to achieve a healthy mark-up of 40% based on cost estimates. An important lesson I have learnt through the costing and pricing which is relevant as a future restaurant owner is this: I must take into account the level of competition in the industry and willingness of customers to pay a particular price. Despite a lack of competition, if I set a price that is too high based on customer expectations, they would not feel the product provides a sufficient value add and as a result, the customers are unlikely to purchase it.  

The feedback gained during the Dragons Den competition was highly useful. The constructive criticism although appeared harsh however, it was an honest assessment of our product and the business plan. I considered the feedback, especially with regards to the product idea, which helped me to consider further refinements to appeal to a broader market. For instance, an important advice we received was that we should not discount the male market based for our product on a small scale of initial research. This advice has its merits, as ignoring the male market means we are not able to reach almost half of the target population. In the future, as a restaurant owner, I will pay attention to the advice received, especially from the experienced and respected individuals. At the same time, I will use my own experience and knowledge of the industry to ensure that my decisions are consistent with the unique selling proposition, the values and brand identity I wish to exhibit for my restaurant.     

To conclude, the reflective essay based on my learning experiences gained over the past 7 months has helped me to provide various suggestions to my future self as a restaurant owner. An important learning I have achieved from this module is that there are no precise rules when it comes to creativity, innovation and starting a business. The most significant takeaway for me through my experiences and learning in Design Thinking for Startups module is the confidence and conviction in my ability to successfully use my knowledge and experience to translate into my future plans of starting a restaurant. I must remember that when looking to engage in design thinking and innovation, rather than focusing on the products, processes or services that I could introduce in my restaurant, I should focus on the problems that my customers are facing and use the combination of empathy, integrative thinking and optimism to arrive at a solution. Integrative thinking is particularly important.     

Reference:

Beckman, S. L., & Barry, M. (2007). Innovation as a learning process: Embedding design thinking. California management review, 50(1), 25-56.

Brown, T. (2008). Design thinking. Harvard business review, 86(6), 84.

Brown, T. (2009) Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation. Harper Business.

Davis, J., Docherty, C. A., & Dowling, K. (2016). Design thinking and innovation: synthesising concepts of knowledge Co-creation in spaces of professional development. The Design Journal, 19(1), 117-139.

Dorst, K. (2015). Frame innovation: Create new thinking by design. MIT press.

Kelley, D., Kelley, T. (2015). Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential within Us All. William Collins, London.

Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experience as the source of learning and development. Upper Sadle River: Prentice Hall.

Manzini, E. (2014). Making things happen: Social innovation and design. Design issues, 30(1), 57-66.

Maurya, A. (2012). Running lean: iterate from plan A to a plan that works. O’Reilly Media, Inc.

Osterwalder, A. and Pigneur, Y. (2010) Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers. Wiley Desktop Edition Series.

Ries, E. (2011) The Lean Startup. Crown Business.


DRAGONS’ DEN

After the Corona Virus shocked in the world, the cases of the Coronavirus were increasing, everyone was afraid and did not want to go out. It was a week full of work and pressure. We had no time. We had to meet and work to finish everything. We were always cooperating, and my team was supporting each other.

We have finally reached the stage to the Dragons Den, when we look back at the days we went through from September to March, and the difficulties and obstacles we faced, we realize our capabilities and the problem-solving skills we have developed over that period of time.

After Mock Dragons ‘Den presentation, questions and answers last week, the judges gave us some direct advice in addition to the evaluation, which was sent to us later. The advice was good to take advantage of in the final, as it required us to improve the presentation and add the announcement that we won an Oscar Award.

On Friday,13th of March, my team and I decided to arrive early to practice our presentation before the judges arrive to the location. We were very confident to talk about our idea and product. Each team is assigned a classroom to practice their presentation before the final presentation. Our team and I have trained and presented our presentation to calculate time. We all felt very confident and prepared to showcase our product. The presentation was easier for us than before, because we have practiced our presentation several times in advance.

My team and I were a little nervous, because we realized that we are about to give a presentation about everything we were working on as a team within a year time and that this is the wonderful moment when we are waiting for, the entire semester. we understand that the judges are there for us and that we know our comments and provide them with our work, and they give us experience, their opinions and suggestions.

We presented our product, and the questions started from the judges we promoted our product in the best possible way, and we showed them the stages of our product development between each step.

SARAH,TSANA,MAI AND ELHAM

We left the room and waited outside for a few hours until all the groups finished their presentations, then we gathered in a place to receive the expected result. We sat in the hall all the groups after a whole day of presenting and waiting. There will be winners with the best product. They will be honored to present Kingston University and compete in the National Dragon Den. everyone must also prepare a two-minute presentation if they win in front of everyone.Unfortunately, we did not win, and four teams were selected for the finals.

In the end, it is a great job, but any good work does not bring me the most attempt and failure, patience. I was lucky because I went through a great learning experience with a great team and a wonderful coach that helped me reach something higher than I expected now.

Preparing our business report, MOCK DRAGONS’ DEN.

Welcome back, I hope you’re doing well, before the 5th of March, we had to prepare an initial draft of our business report

My team and I met, distributed the responsibilities among us, and made a start on writing about our product which is Easy Out.

From this experience, we learned that teamwork is important, but when it comes to writing a report, it was challenging to standardise the style among team members.

After completing all the sections, we compiled the sections, read the report, reviewed it and corrected each other so that we can identify and missing elements and amend the report accordingly. We have also included some pictures to document the report.

After completing the report, we had to make a PowerPoint presentation for our work, therefore we made a presentation on Friday, the 6th of March. Mock Dragons ‘Den gave us feedback in preparation for Den Dragons’ Den 6 minutes Presentation and 10 minutes Questions and answers. this presentation is not graded, but it was good practice before preparing the final. The presentation was before three judges. Kristen, Fazl Hasnain and Dwain Reid.

On that day, my team and I were feeling nervous and this is normal. We will present our work for seven months and now it is presented to the arbitrators for the first time. This trip helped us improve the presentation and take comments and evaluation. So that the next offer is better.

The points that the judged will be asked about:

  • Business Pitch:
  • Marketing.
  • Finances.
  • Ambition, Customer Relations & Lessons Learned.
  • Sales & Brand—Display Merchandising, Packaging.

Judges will rate us on our presentation using Dragons’ Dragon Markers paper.

We got some comments from the judges when we presented the presentation

There were many lessons that I took from them:

  • We expect the feedback to be hard, but this is a fact that will help improve and develop our product.
  • We must take advice and work with it from the experienced individuals with rich knowledge
  • We must accept the comments quietly and positively as this affects your work.
  • Build on feedback before and show to the judges that you have addressed and resolved problems.

Finally, I have learned the importance of teamwork, as it is a way to achieve goals, accomplish business objectives, exchange experiences, and develop skills. As the teamwork made me more social, more capable of dividing tasks and distribute them to members of the group and give each person what suits his skills.

Success is the success of an entire team, not an individual success

An effective team is one that contains different people, each with unique features and characteristics.

I expect Mock Dragons ‘Den that the training was a good opportunity to learn to prepare for next week and learn about the type of questions we might face from the judges. How to respond to them, and how to confront the judges and present the product to them..

Eden Walk Trade Fair..

On Saturday, February 22nd, we had to showcase our product at the busiest shopping center in Kingston.

This trade fair is an opportunity to interact with a wider circle of audience. It is suitable for testing and strengthening your motivation and entrepreneurial skills.

My team and I decided to come early to prepare our booth, we arrived at 08.45 and the trade began at 10 AM and finished at 5 PM.

This trade fair is to better understand the market, improve our sales strategy, and collect customer reviews. We hoped to sell as many units as possible, we had no finished product then, where we met with Al Najjar more than once to explain the product

  Unfortunately, the carpenter did not understand the product well, although we sent the prototype with him so that we could apply it as is. But in the end, we decided to use the prototype that we worked on. and our sale policy was on order.

One of the team members wore the tray and walked around the center, so shoppers asked about the product, and we distributed the work card to reach social media to be more clear.

 Our trade stand at the trade fair was a critical opportunity for us to introduce Easy Out product to the public. We did make a deep engagement in communication with the visitors who came to our stand. While one of the team members was speaking, the other team members were performing a live demonstration to showcase how to use Easy-Out practically with the help of other decoration tools that we made especially for the stand. To us, the live demonstration is an effective strategy to persuade potential buyers, because it utilizes visuals shows, so all benefits can be seen in action, as customers are more likely to buy the product if it is seen in action than on screen or pictures. Another approach of the sales strategy was showing off our advertisement video to give the visitors another visual show that showed different places or situations to use our product.

Branding is important for every business to succeed. We want to capture the potential customers’ attention through it. We embedded our branding throughout everything that we did as a start-up. The reason why we choose a yellow, black and little touch of white for our logo and other branding materials is that yellow represents happiness, positive, and convenience. While black represent excellence, strength, and a little bit of white represent efficiency. We put our branding in everything from the marketing tools such as social media, and advertisement video, to decoration tools for our booth at the trade fair. We made similar design across all the things we put in the trade, such as posters, flyers, business cards, coffee cup, burger box, nugget box, fry’s holder, and bottled water. All those props were labelled with our brand which left a good impression to the judges. Also, All the team members dressed a white top, and black bottom, and used the ID card to distinguish from other companies on that day.

BRIGHT IDEAS .GRAND FINAL and The Oscars Winner

After we won the trade fair the best trade stand, we were nominated to the Bright ideas competition, which was on Wednesday 5 of Feb in Kingston Business School.

Our team was chosen to present our product to a panel of professional experts for a chance to win up to £ 1,000 per category.

This is the final event for the Bright Ideas Competition. My team and I completed the application form online. We have also attended Sprint Weekend to help to develop the product before the final.

My team and I met every day to practice and prepare for the finals, we have arranged multiple practice sessions which helped us to become more confident. The competition is happening between 3:00 and 5:15 PM. we decided to come on Wednesday before the competition. The competition started at 3:00 PM and finished at  5:15 PM.

The competition will start by the ceremony and the selection of the winning groups will begin after that. The award ceremony will start at 5:30 PM.

During the waiting period, the winners are chosen. I managed to network with two judges, and I did a good job with both of them, but I knew we needed to learn from them and take correct advice and methods for product development in the future

Next, the panel winners will give a one-minute presentation, during which audience vote for those who made the presentation, particularly the group who made the best show.

The pitch of the presentation was 5 minutes and ten minutes for questions and answers

We were a little nervous, but this offer encouraged us to take more steps.

After the Bright Ideas competition on 7th of February, we had to create a product video ad with two in-class presentation teams and a discussion of the video.

The advert must be about 30 seconds long. Maximum one minute.

The winning teams will be awarded the Academy Awards based on a peer vote.

Communicate with your customer on the emotional, physical, and cognitive levels (EPC):

Emotional: Show why the product is fun, relaxing, or smart. Think about your corporate personality.

Physical: Show how it works.

Cognitive: Show why it makes sense to buy or use it.

we have seen some examples of inferring good and bad adverts.

In preparation for the Oscar Awards on Friday, my team and I met to make a video of for our product. ِEasy Out is A Mobile Foldable Tray made from sustainable materials to help you enjoy your meals with minimal effort either it’s outdoor or indoor.

After discussion, we chose several places such as McDonald’s, the garden and the house.

After showing all video teams nominated a winning team.

Easy-out Ad | Mobile Foldable Tray.

Our team won an Oscar Award, and we were all happy.

The First Trade Fair.

On Thursday 23 of January, our first trade fair show took place at Kingston Business School. We have prepared everything in advance such as poster, flyer, stand and logo.

The purpose of the first trade fair was to know your product, selling skills, convince the customer in front of you, and understand the assumptions of your product. My team and I were a little nervous because it was the first time to attended a trade fair. among the clients, there were secret rulers who evaluated our product and asked some questions and nominated three teams to win. Every participating team contributed £10, which went towards awarding the top 3 winners.

         The best product.

         The best sales team.

         The best trade stand.

I agreed with my team to come an hour before the appointment to prepare our table, each group has one table with a black tablecloth and two chairs. We have put a blackboard and a poster explaining what the product is, What its idea, problems and the aim of the product. We also brought the prototype of the product and its three faces so that we showed them the stages of development and change between each step.We decided to wear a uniform which is a white shirt and black pants.

Easy-out Logo

The purpose of the trade fair was to test our products for the public for the first time, and to get comments, feedback, and advice from customers and judges whether positive or negative and we also got some ideas for product development. After that the judges chose three teams to win the best product, the best trade stand and the best sales team. We had won the best trade stand which made us more motivated with our business idea. We still need to show some improvements in some areas, but we knew this encouraged us to do more for the next competition Bright Ideas competition final.

MAI,ELHAM,SARAH AND TSANA.
BEST TRADE STAND AWARD.

The most important points that I learned from the first Tarde Fair:

  • Listen to the customer: The service provider must focus well when listening to the customer’s speech, and it is good for him to use the views that indicate his serious follow-up. Good understand to the customer requires his encouragement to express his needs and in a manner that satisfies him completely.                                 
  • Understand the product: knowing the basics of your product at least is crucial to selling effectively.
  • Accepting people’s opinions.
  • Teamwork reflects positively on the progress of work in the different stages, as well as on the quality of the work itself, and thus the productivity of this work increases and its quality increases.
  • Time management skills: Planning, organising, setting priorities, directing and following up
  • Judges and Customer feedback is essential to the improvement of the product and learning new ideas.

Preparing for our First Trade Fair

Hello everyone, as the Christmas holiday is over and the 2nd semester started, it is time to complete my blogs. My team and I met to prepare for our Trade fair.

We have prepared a few ideas to work with before the trade fair. The most important things are the brand logo, flyer, company logo, poster, and decoration. We have designed two logos to choose from and voted for one of them. And the colour scheme was chosen to be suitable for the logo and brand logo, flyer, poster, and decoration for the stand.

On 18-19 of January, we attended Bright Ideas Sprint for two days. Attendance was necessary to shape and improve our ideas, all Kingston University students from different courses attended this event. It was an opportunity to improve our ideas with the help of experienced experts and coaches, receiving some advice and comments, and learning new skills.

Event attendance was a good experience as we received a feedback that we could benefit from at our first Trade Fair. At the end, they chose 50 entrants of the Bright Ideas competition, who will be selected over the SPRINT weekend.

One of the guests was Sazrah, who was a world music producer. A piece of her works has been used in one of my favourite “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” reality show. She talked about her journey to success, and she gave us tips for the future about business, networks, and how to overcome conflicts and challenges.

Below are some important points to consider:

  • Understand the customer.
  • Focus on how people can be helped.
  • Allow some time to build relationships.
  • How to overcome challenges.
  • Volunteer, but only for reasons relevant to your idea.
  • Promotion of others

On the second day we presented our product in front of judges to take advantage of their expertise and product development before the Trade Fair, which will be on 23 of January, which will be showcasing and selling the product to the public for the very first time.

This first trade fair takes place in the Business School which provides a safe environment in which you can learn and prepare to face customers outside of the school.

We Will be showcasing our product and selling to the public for the very first time.

All teams will participate in the trade fair.

The purpose of the trade show is to place you in front of real potential customers who will test your product assumptions, test your knowledge of your product, test your management and sales skills, and test your entrepreneurial situations

On the next blog, I will update what we did our first Trade Fair.

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.

 Albert Schweitzer

The Dragon’s Den Experience..

On 6th of December 2019, we have presented our idea to the audience, we have also requested them to evaluate our idea, to assess its validity for people’s need.

We were nervous as we were asked to present our idea in front of a team of experienced professionals, referred to as The Dragon’s Den. We were asked to present our idea within 5 minutes, and allow 3 minutes to answer questions from audience and rulers.

Dragon’s Den

Our evaluation will be based on 5 criteria:

1-Elevator Pitch:

Did you explain your idea clearly and convincingly?

2) The need or the problem you are addressing & the target group:

Provide basic information about the problem, and the people who are experiencing the problem, and who will buy the product.

3) The product/ service:

What is the product?

Explanation of the product and how it meets the needs of the market?

4) Alternatives & Competitors:

Who are the potential competitors in the market?

5) Market entry:

How will you attract your customers?

How will the product be provided?

The targeted audience.

6) Overall Presentation:

Show excellent presentation skills needed by entrepreneurs

We had a meeting as a team, created a prototype of the product, and the product name changed from SMART TRAY to EASY -OUT

We all worked, and we enjoyed the idea

We have presented in front of each other to practice and to avoid mistakes

We have agreed on wearing one uniform for the presentation.

Below is the presentation’s script:

When we visit a crowded restaurant or seasonal market like Christmas market and couldn’t find a table or a seat, we often find ourselves in an awkward situations where eating with no table or eating with one hand and holding all the items with the other hand. All those issues lead to eating uncomfortably and ended up with unpleasant experience. Our perfect customer will be a person who still wants to truly enjoy their meal, after they bought foods and drinks from a crowded restaurant or food stalls but couldn’t find a table or chair to eat immediately.

 “Easy-out is a mobile, foldable, reusable tray made from bamboo woods. It has a deep compartment with few separate sections and a cup holder to secure items, and it does also have a strap in its tow side in order to carry it around the neck. Our tray aims to make the user feel more convenient and have better experience when visiting a busy and crowded places such as restaurant at peak time.With Easy-out the user will be able to eat more comfortably and conveniently.”

 It is a mobile tray which you can bring it to wherever you prefer and whenever you like. The flexibility of eating and carrying multiples items is in your control. After we did some research we found other products that might be our alternative or a potential competitors such as 16 compartment craft storage tray, 4 compartment plastic divider box, and commercial plastic tray with shallow surface. Our tray is not a shallow tray, but it has deep compartments that allow customers using it without worrying about food being slipped out of the tray our tray has a strap that the customers can wear it on, so that their hands are free and they are able to do much more than just to hold the tray. The materials that are made up from sustainable materials making sure we show our love to the planet and promote a green platform for the users to use the product and being friendly with the environment.

 “Our plan for introducing the product to initial customers is through direct selling to the people who visit the Christmas market, but our product will also be available to purchase through our official page on social media. For the time being we are looking into B2C market but in the future we will be thinking to bring this to B2B since there is an opportunity to sellit for B2B.”




What is a Lean Canvas?

Lean Canvas is a one-page business plan methodology that was developed by Ash Maurya.  Lean Canvas was adapted from the Business Model Canvas by Alexander Osterwalder. The plan features several blocks to help you map out the key points that will help you turn a business idea into a concrete business plan. The Lean Canvas is created especially for entrepreneurs to make it easier for them to get a clear and simple idea of what they are doing.

How to Create Your Lean Canvas

It contains nine sections featured on Lean Canvas which we have filled in our idea

  • Problem: Understanding the key problems of customers is essential.
  • Customer Segments:  Understanding who your customers are is a vital step.
  • Unique Value Proposition.
  • Solution.
  • Channels.
  • Revenue Streams.
  • Cost Structure.
  • Key Metrics.

After filling our idea on Lean Canvas, the idea became clear and simple.

LEAN CANVAS

START UP THE FIRST IDEA

One of our tasks in design thinking module, was reading a book titled (THE LEAN START UP) for the author Eric Ries, who is an entrepreneur and author of the blog Startup Lessons Learned.  Eric is a co-founded and has worked as CTO of IMVU, which is his third startup. Eric is also a frequent speaker at business many events, and has provided advice forseveral startups, large companies and venture-capital firms, he provided his advice on areas of  business and product strategy, and finally he is an entrepreneur-in-residence at Harvard Business School and lives in San Francisco.

Lean start-up is a  methodology for developing businesses and products it aims to shorten product  development life-cycles, and discover if the proposed business model is viable. This is achieved by adapting a combination of business- hypothesis driven experimentation, iterative product releases, and Validated learning.

Mitigating risk early at early stages is at the central attention of lean start-up methodology. It focus on reducing market risk by identifying unnecessary steps and extra work may arise as part of the project, which may consume considerable amount of project funding, which in turn would lead to expensive product launch, and hence start-up failure.

The Young Enterprise (YE) DWAIN REID has visited us for giving seminar and advise. He visited us to teach taught us how to register enroll in a team and provide a startup framework. My team Sarah, Tasna and Mai and myself Elham.We had to choose a name for our company, me and my team  I have suggested few names for our company and have voted for the name of the company, the name we chose is FUTURE DREAM.

 On 21 of November, we were registered as a startup with Young Enterprise.The positions that my team and I hold in the company are as follow:

Managing Director: Sarah

Financial Director: Mai

Secretary Company: Elham

Marketing Director: Tsana

Finally,we have opened a bank account for our company. My team and I have started our company by defining our idea and present it to the class for 7 minutes. We came up with a “Smart Tray” idea inspired by a problem during lunch time and at the end of the working day. The problem can be summarized by:

“Limited lunch breaks creates a more complex problem for working individuals, namely eating lunch in one hour (including time spent from and returning to the workplace), which makes it even difficult to eat fast food (like McDonald’s). Also, when we entered the restaurant, we saw that the restaurant is crowded and most people eat while standing up, eating burgers and fries, and the other hand holds the bag. This can be uncomfortable while eating”.

This has encouraged many parties to think of innovative products that make people’s lives easier, one of which is “SMART TRAY“. Smart Tray is an innovative design of the disposable and portable food box. It can be used as a food tray, as well as a tray. Smart Tray will be internally divided into three or four subsections to suit multiple items like burgers, fries, sauces and syrups in just one placeholder. This unique design will help working people to save time and walk while eating lunch that promotes a healthy lifestyle and will increase the efficiency of using the lunch break, which is reflected on employees’ productivity and well-being. After that, my team and I purchased the tools to initially design the idea.

The Design Museum Visit

In the lesson design thinking, we went to the design museum with my team Tsana , Sara and Mai. We visited the ‘Beazley Designs of the Year 2019’ Exhibition and the ‘Designer Maker User.

And choose three designs with high innovation and design:

1- Alter Ego.

A Virtual Assistant Commanded by your thoughts.

A Virtual Assistant Commanded by your thoughts.

How might we help people with needs to do everyday task without actually get help from someone?

Alter Ego is a wearable neural interface that allows humans to command a virtual assistant by articulating words through thought. By reading neuromuscular signals sent from the brain to both the face and jaw during an internal speech, the headset can identify the words you think and translate them into a response. The device sends audio feedback via bone. The device is in the prototyping stage and, once rolled out, could be fundamental in helping those unable to speak out loud due to illness or injury to communicate. Alter Ego attempts to weave computing, the internet and Al as an internal ‘second self’, enhancing human abilities in a non-invasive manner.

2- An electric city bike rentable through your phone.

JUMP electric bicycle and scooter.

How might we help people who like privacy to find an alternative to beat traffic jam with environmentally-friendly transportation?”

AN ELECTRIC CITY BIKE RENTABLE THROUGH YOUR PHONE.

An electric city bike rentable through your phone Title: JUMP electric bicycle and scooter JUMP by Uber Terry Stephens United States Designer: Nominator: Location: The future of sustainable cities depends on a radical reduction in the number of cars and in the fumes and traffic they generate. Perhaps aware that its business depends on diversifying the services they offer, the taxi-sharing app Uber this year launched a fleet of smart electric bikes and scooters, called JUMP. As car-trips decrease, the rapid uptake of its bikes continues. The bikes self-diagnose faults, can respond to real-time geographical changes and automatically implement compliance to speed limits. The bikes also have removable batteries, increasing the lifespan of the hardware. JUMP’s electric bicycle is already hugely popular in the United Kingdom too. However, the scooter is not yet legal on the road.

3- A discrete pregnancy test for a greener planet.

Lia pregnancy test.

How might we help a woman who’s like privacy and aware of environmental issues find a way to find out whether they pregnant or not?

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A discrete pregnancy test for a greener planet.

It is a telling fact that Lia is the first holistic redesign of the pregnancy test for 30 years. Unlike existing pregnancy tests, which are made of plastic and contribute one million kilograms of non-recyclable waste to landfill in the United States each year, Lia is designed to be discreet and sustainable. The product is made of a paper-like, coated material that breaks down when flushed and completely biodegrades in soil. Providing results that are more than ninety-nine per cent accurate Lia finally offers a private and eco-friendly way to find out whether you are pregnant.

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