Gaining… ideas

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Just like the tree, the business needs care in order to grow with years! A photo taken by me near my music faculty in Kingston Hill campus.

When starting a business first  you have to have a clear idea of what you want to do. After that comes the HOW and the VALUE  I talked about in my previous post. But the tricky part is the beginning when you have to decide what your product is going to be. As time flew by we noticed we did not have the time to think too much, we had to be strategic, thoughtful and … valuable! We had couple of ideas, but when we started thinking about the HOW part of it we quickly left ourselves with… well, nothing. In my team we are all so different and colourful (especially Jorge) and this is what I was looking for in a team. We generated ideas constantly and I loved it!

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Ducks at the FADA (Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture) at Kingston. I took this lovely photo when waiting for my workshop to start.

What have ducks got to do with talking about business you may ask. Well they do. When studying in Sofia University for my Public Relations BA I had “Creativity” classes every week. At the beginning I was surprised by the number of lectures we had for this class and started to wonder what is it that they are going to teach us that much? In one of the classes I remember our professor told us “Ideas do not come that easy and that often. When you feel stuck… inspire yourself! Go out, communicate, read, spend some time for and by yourself.” This is one of the most valuable lessons I learned and it applied perfectly to my situation. We were all in a hole, trying to think about what our product is going to be like. So we inspired ourselves!

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What I like to do when stuck is go out and take photos. In this post you can see some of the pictures I took. I am a deep aesthetic lover and beauty appreciator. I just love to be surrounded by beauty and to let it inspire me and make me productive. And so it did! At our next “Skype” meeting we all proposed some ideas and we stop our sight at one particular that we thought is quite intriguing.

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Beauty has a great power. We all know that. And in my situation it gave me value– it solved my problem of a stuck mind and refreshed the way I was thinking. To some people this value can easily be find in a cup of coffee for example, but I am more on the visual side of the things and the process of observing details. My team mate Janja said it perfectly in her blog at http://www.styljanje.com :

”We can start by observing natural habitat and challenge our assumptions. By doing that designers can gain more understanding on how to stand out and research new possibilities of manipulation of an unexpected material that can create memorable design output with some deeper meaning and strong design presence.”

So observing the habitat around us was a great idea generator. Probably the best one. This is how we came to our second idea about the cigarette box extension that will give people an extra department in their cigarette box to put their finished fags in instead of throwing them on the floor. However we decided we did not want to encourage people to smoke so we changed our idea, focusing on a lot bigger and important problem, but I will talk about it in my next post! The important thing here is that we finished another step from the Driven Design Process plan (d. School’s User-Centered Prototype- see the picture below). And this is the step of defining!

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