Eureka!

We have smashed through our creative barriers and have now developed a fantastic idea for a product! After applying the steps of how to remain creative under pressure we identified three potential product ideas.

We arranged a meeting with our mentor to discuss the options. His feedback was vital in our decision. He liked all of our ideas and told us to go away and look at the following three areas.

  • Manufacture
  • Competitors
  • Time-scale feasibility

After the group conducted some lengthy research we made our decision…  THE ICE CAP!

The Ice Cap is a a two part product. A re-sealable cap that fits your average drinks tin and is a tailored can warmer.

My only concern was that the group wasn’t passionate about the product. After attending the Enterprise Insights presentation, I identified that it is vital to be passionate in order for a start up to be successful.

As the “Managing Director”, I sat the team down and fired them up. The group seemed motivated to start the project and passion started to ignite for the product. I don’t think the product itself ignited the passion but what motivated the team was the ownerships of roles within the start up.

I wanted to know if it is a necessity to love the product in order to sell it; and after a lot of researching I have come to the conclusion you don’t have to!

Below I have attached some fantastic articles on why loving your product isn’t important.

http://mywifequitherjob.com/why-you-dont-have-to-love-what-you-sell/

http://jebblount.com/love-what-you-sell-to-sell-it/

Don’t get me wrong, the team doesn’t dislike the product, it’s just they aren’t completely excited about it. That being said, we believe in the product. All of us agree it solves a problem and deserves a space on the shelves.

As the “Managing Director” it is up to me to lead the team to success. If we can’t find passion in the product we have to find excitment in doing the best in our marketing, accounting, logistics and sales activities! Empowerment in each discipline, emphasising to take ownership and managing effectively should drive us to success, not the excitement and deep passion in the product.

To improve my motivational management skills, I have turned to Ted Talks. It is extremely important for me to be able to motivate people in order to be successful in the future.

The Video below has given me a better understanding on the theory of motivation.

Understanding the theory of motivation and developing my knowledge of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation should help me to manage the group effectively.  By learning what motivates the group, we will hopefully achieve  excellent branding, advertising, supplier relations, networks, account management and much more. I believe that this is all achievable without a personal passion in the product.

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Back To The Drawing Board

I am constantly told that “Ideas are cheap” and that everyone has them. Lecturers say its the execution and implementation of the idea which is important.

Well yes ideas are cheap but that’s because a lot of them are absolute rubbish! How do you effectively implement and execute poor ideas, stay motivated and remain positive? When it feels like frustration will lead to burnout and inevitably failure.

During week 4, one of the exercises consisted of randomly selecting two words from a pile. Then as a group we had a minute to develop a business idea/product made from the chosen words. The ideas were then pitched to the rest of the class.

Each group stood up and pitched their idea and not one, in my opinion was a decent business idea. Proving to me that ideas are cheap!

As The Wall Street Journal says, good Ideas come from:

  • Having specialist knowledge and identifying an open opportunity
  • Solving problems that occur in day to day life
  • Develop from personal hobby’s
  • Improving existing ideas
  • Stepping into the unknown and adapting something for someone else

I was initially horrified that five business students in their last year of University, could not come up with a viable business idea of which they could act on and be passionate about. Our initial group meetings consisted of brainstorming and trying to identify our specialities and find those daily problems of which to solve. The problem we found was that not one of us could identify any specialist knowledge we had or any problems we needed to solve.

As a group we are strong, knowable, passionate and intellectual. There is no doubt we could run and set up a successfully business. However, the type of business we could successfully run is outside the realms of this module. The problem we are facing is developing a product that will do well in the Bright Minds competition and inevitably get us a good grade.

What I have learnt this week is that approaching deadlines and five over thinking students leads to non-existing problems being solved and poor product ideas. Our determination to do well is creating barriers to creative thinking. Causing us to overlook our good ideas to be replaced with the question “Will this do well in the competition”.

Approaching deadlines and the fear we will fall behind. Is causing us to ignore vital feedback that has been given to us in class and by our friends and family, on the ideas we have. Instead of thinking about creative solutions to the problems identified in feedback we are writing ideas off faster than we can blink an eye resulting in further frustration and in turn restricting the creative process.

Sharpening The Spear:

To overcome our creative block, I decided to do some research in creative thinking under pressure. The article below explains 6 steps to remain creative when under pressure. It is my intention to implement these steps with the group and hopefully we can create an idea that with do well in the competition and sell in the real world!

6 Ways to Stay Creative Under Pressure 

Tools for the future:

The ideas expressed in the article above particularly “Talk About It Constructively” and “Look for Inspiration” will help me when undergoing work that has deadlines and preventing a sense of frustration and demotivation in a group.

Here is an image that shows the three components of creativity.