Week 5: Brainstorming with Passion

This week we began to brainstorm for our semester projects. We started the class by splitting into our groups and began coming up with different possibilities and outcomes to solve problems. Our group used a top-down approach in which we started with a big picture and broke the problem down into smaller pieces. Firstly, we picked out what our target audience would be (students, mainly high school and college). Then, we analyzed what type of problems that students faced (bullying, time management, stress, mental health, etc.). Using such categories we analyzed what the underlining cause of these problems was and what were some common and generic ways to fix them. Through that, we came up with some complex products that we might want to design for such issues. Our innovative products were not quite tangible and definitely too hard to build at our current level. Personally, I believe that our ideas were too broad and too complex. I believe that going forward, our team needs to pinpoint a SPECIFIC and simple problem. We need to keep in mind that though it would be amazing to solve BIG problems, we are not here to solve the world’s problem, but just a little bit of our lives.

After all the groups (using approximately 20-30 minutes) finished their brainstorming, we came up with “How can we” statements that formulate a problem so that it could be tangibly solved in the future. We went back to the lab to present our ideas to the rest of our classmates. Then after all the groups presented, one person from each group was randomly chosen to critic another group’s ideas and give them suggestions. Olivia listened to our pitch about time management and a possible design and gave us several suggestions to make it better and more plausible. The presentation, as well as critiques, were very helpful because our group did have some trouble forming tangible and plausible ideas so listening and seeing other groups kind of gave us a better idea of how we should think.

Recently I read a Forbes article and I started to ask myself questions such as, “Will our design really solve a problem?” or “Will people ACTUALLY buy this product?” or even “Am I really passionate about this problem?” These questions really hit home because honestly, some of the problems that aroused were not things that I was really passionate about and I was quite hesitant about using some of the problems. Furthermore, I realized that the indecisiveness of not minding what type of project we would do really took a toll on what our possible outcome or ideas were.

I never realized how difficult it was to come up with tangible and plausible ideas were. This class has definitely been pushing me to be a better version of myself, starting with becoming less indifferent with what type of project we should do.

3 thoughts on “Week 5: Brainstorming with Passion

  1. Hi Odelia!

    I loved your blog post! it was really awesome to read that Forbes article about does your product actually solve a problem. I totally agree, even today I think we see a lot of products on the market that don’t solve any problem. A big example is the Yo! app which was created by Silicon Valley and got a considerable amount of venture funding despite its only purpose being is to send Yo to your friends faster.

  2. Hi Odelia,

    I definitely agree that starting with a simple specific problem is the way to go. I think it’s important for our classmates to remember this as we develop our products as they need to be desirable, viable, and feasible. Although my group’s ideas could have fit these three guidelines, for the sake of the project we agreed that our ideas were not very realistic. The questions posed in the Forbes article you mentioned are along the same theme as the “10 ways to evaluate a new business idea” article that was a part of our assigned reading. If our projects are closely aligned with our own interests, the product design process will come much more naturally, and the entire project will be more enjoyable.

  3. Odelia, I enjoyed your interpretation of this weeks ideation session. It was eye-opening to me to see how many ideas and problems were discussed and how large of a range of ideas there were. The part where you speak about not solving the world’s problem, but a problem in our daily lives stood out to me since it allows you to narrow down your focus much more. This article from the Harvard Business Review really stood out to me as taking a step back from all the ideas and really narrow and focus your area to make it into a more tangible concept.

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