Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Designing new enterprises
This academic year, I'm teaching on the MBA Entrepreneurship Project, a term-long process during which the students generate, explore and develop ideas for new enterprises which they pitch to VCs at the end of term. My contribution is to help with the early stage of idea generation - which the problem space is not defined, let alone solutions in the form of identifiable products, services, strategies, or organizational forms. At this early phase of the development of a venture, design methods can play an important role in identifying practices which might offer business opportunities. Visual methods - such as this collage shown here- create ways for teams, often from diverse national and professional backgrounds, to work together. It might have been an idea to test whether those teams making use of the workshops I'm offering come up with "better" projects. Better for who?, of course. But what I'm seeing each week is that projects are moving from the realm of high level strategies, markets, and organizations to identifiable customers with practices around which services and products can be organized.