Chunky / Colours

Design Thinking and Entrepreneurship in Practice

‘Design thinking’ module experience – THE END May 20, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — chunkycolours @ 6:26 pm

Our module leader has asked us to write a reflective essay on the course to post in our blog, yes a final post. Well of course she doesn’t recommend to stop posting, on the contrary a key learning from her on this class has been: “to keep networking”…POST! POST! POST! BLOG! BLOG! BLOG! TWEET! TWEET! TWEET! “Put yourselves out there” Corrine says. It sounds like an intelligent thing to do if you ask me…we live in a super competitive world, where the Internet dominates practically everything, and more online presence just opens more opportunities for you. The increase of Internet users, just translates into more interaction and more brands online; the appeal in this networking world is indubitable (Marketing in the Digital Age Market AssessmentKey Note, 2009)

It seems obvious then that one of the things that I have learned from this course is to NETWORK. And yes, I have talked about the blog, about twitter, but I have not mentioned the importance of attending to events and conferences that can be of opportunity for us (meaning related to our specialization or future career goals). Corrine suggested to us to attend as may as we could, and to do what there? Of course to network! To go and talk to people, and ask them about them, about their jobs, their interests, etc. etc. Ask for their business cards and give them ours. Create contacts. Contact your contacts. Email them. Talk to them. Again the bottom message is “put yourselves out there”. And I must to tell you, it works! My actual job (new one of course) came out from that. While I was here in Mexico for Christmas holidays, I took Corrine’s word and I contacted some of my old contacts, from the PR agency that worked for the company I used to work for, and o’voilà! I got a job from that e-mail! Basically the people form this agency would have completely forgotten me if I wouldn’t have emailed them. So to answer my classmate question “Do we really need the ideal moment to get a job? (Kanin’s blog, 2012), yes, completely, if I had not sent that e-mail in that precise moment I would not be where I am right now. And finally, take my teacher’s advice (now also my advice), keep your contacts, you never know when you’ll need them.

Further in the class of ‘Design Thinking’ I learned another thing: how to CREATE A BUSINESS out of the blue. Impossible you think? Well it’s not, our whole class made it! First we had to form teams, and the goal was to create a business in a few weeks. Of course for us it seemed impossible too, at the beginning we were discouraged and we thought that our teacher didn’t know what was she asking from us. Now I thank her for this. I take a major lesson with this experience: don’t wait for things to happen, make them happen. Turn your idea into entreprise (Catherine Gurling, 2011). This was the basis for this course, from then on, we just had to make things happen; professionally but fast. Think, create, promote and sell. From here on things starting to change and to make sense little by little. At the first stage we needed to BRAINSTORM. This part has always resulted fun and hardly difficult for me. I see it as the ‘creativity part’ since I think that is when all the creativity is unleashed. Words and ideas just come out of me without caring about the consequences or responses. Who doesn’t enjoy saying things randomly without caring? But as I said in posts before, there is no brainstorming like a team brainstorming. What you say to someone can unleash creative ideas in that someone’s head, and if as a team you work to look for the best joint idea and not focus on an individual idea, I’m sure you will create something 10 times better. So in conclusion, a third lesson for me in this course was the importance to team brainstorm and the lack of importance for individualistic thoughts and ideas, as my classmate Kalina clearly states “disqualifying ideas is at the core of people’s problems to communicate with each other and more importantly – to create with each other and for each other” (Kalina’s blog, 2012)

From here I can easily refer to you to the importance of TEAMWORK in this course. What would have happened if we had been asked to do a business by ourselves? Or easier, think of a business? Clearly all of our business would have extremely failed. You need a team to make things happen. You need more than one brain. There is no success without a team behind. Like Drew and Coulson (1996) clarify “new product development almost always depends on effective and high-energy group efforts”. Yes, it is also significantly hard to work in teams. Especially when individuals with different culture and career backgrounds form the team. All of us think differently, and all of us think that our way is the right way. I’m not saying it’s easy, and I’m not saying you would not encounter difficulties; on the contrary, you will most definitely have ‘double trouble’. However, you most definitely have double success too. It is known that success doesn’t come easy, and in our module no one can say it was. Nevertheless, I can affirm you that from my gratifying experience in creating sitonit, promoting it and selling it, none of that would have happened if it wasn’t for the teamwork and team effort behind it. Endless meetings, discussions, disagreements, rewards, victories, and memorable moments, form sitonit. All of that makes sitonit what it is today.

SELLING AND PROMOTING the business was also a challenging but rewarding task. Once the product was done we had to decide our targeting and positioning (Catherine’s Morel lecture, 2011) , that resulted harder than it look, since it changed over time quite a few times. Then we had to promote our product to this target through social media, which resulted easier. And at some point of the course we were asked to create an advertisement. For me, as an advertiser, making the ad was probably the most gratifying experience of the whole masters. We had total freedom to create a 30 to 60 second spot for sitonit, usually a rare thing for an advertiser (total freedom to work is not something we advertisers enjoy from). In the end we didn’t have the quality and budget that we needed of course, but for a homemade ad I have to say that the idea its what counts, and our spot I’m proud to say that it was the result from a fun and amazing idea; the alive sitonits being the protagonists of the spot. Of course, promoting sitonit and its ad through social-media was key for us as entrepreneurs without a budget. And now that I think of it, I don’t know what would this have been without social-media. Again, the importance to network, and in this case is seen not only for individuals or entrepreneurs, but also for companies.  As Rodriguez (2008) states the Web has become a force for change in the relation between consumers and companies.

CREATIVITY has also been encouraged and impulse by most of our module leaders in this MA. From essays, to art pieces, to businesses, this master has definitely detonated my creative side. Plus now I can differentiate between creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship, which it may sound weird but it’s not something I used to think of consciously. Now I can distinguish if a person is being one or the other, and I know the importance of doing the three of them if I want to create my own business in the future. Since  creativity is considered  the generation of new ideas, innovation the successful execution of those new ideas, and entrepeneurship the act of coordinating and leveragingmanagerial resources (Wilson and Stokes, 2005). Also, observation and awareness are some of the skills that I have gained from the course to achieve a creative mind, or more ad hoc a design thinking approach. I have learned to be aware of human needs, to observe people with different products and to categorize and segment groups of people. All of this is extremely important for an advertiser’s career in my opinion, given the diversity of product categories, markets and clients that I will be working with. So I can say, that for me this course has been key to construct my creative career.

Another thing that I can observe from what I have learned on this master is from my classmates. DIVERSITY in cultures and background was a major factor in making this experience what it was. A completely different story would have happened if we all had been from the same country or the same career background. Honestly, at the beginning I was a bit deceptive with the whole ‘different specializations’ type of program, but in the end I learned from each and every one of them and that makes my experience and my build up of learnings a completely different thing. However, being open is not always easy, like my French classmate says “our country of origin, the country in which we evolve generate and predestine many preconceived ideas about other countries” (Benjamine’s blog, 2012), this is typically known…you always have some kind of idea of foreigners, most of the time we judge people for where they come from and not what they are. But breaking with this stereotypes and thoughts has changed the way I learned and appreciate the course. And now I can say that I have friends from all around the world!

Another important learning from the ‘Design Thinking’ experience was to always DO THE RIGHT THING. Our module leader, Corrine, has encouraged us in a non-verbal way to look for the right thing to do. She has never said so directly, but with her example I have learned to care more about others and to care to take the right path for our business and for our lives. When we had a lesson on ‘stop human traffic’, all of this ‘doing the right thing’ or ‘caring for societies problems’ started to become food for thought. I am not the type of person that thinks that these things can’t be taught, on the contrary, society needs to teach this. In this lesson we were asked to go ahead and question people around Kingston on human trafficking, and the shocking result was that no one really knows or in fact cares. Human being’s tend to not be affected by a problem that is not there, not always because they are selfish, but because they don’t live with it, and it’s hard to be truly aware on something you don’t live on your day-to-day basis. At the end, in this class of ‘stop human traffic’ we got to put to practice all of our ‘Design Thinking’ skills; brainstorming, teamwork and social-media skills all formed part of this session. It was exciting to do something new and different for all of us I think. And I felt like we were making a difference, a tiny one but we were. Our ideas and proposals were listened and taking into account by a detective in London specialized in human trafficking, and by the high management of a truly important NGO on human trafficking, who clearly state that by creating awareness and understanding of human trafficking then you are already doing something (Stop the traffik, 2012). And this is why I thought we made some difference, just by being there presenting our ideas to those judges, and understanding what human traffic is about, and of course by helping others understand too.

Now that this masters has ended, I have to ask myself WHERE TO? Even if I’m already settling in here back in Mexico, and in a new job and in practically a new life, I still have the long-term goal to create my own advertising agency. And I can gladly say that this masters, and specially the experience of creating and managing a business, have been extremely useful for me to achieve my goal some day. Now at least I know the basic steps to get there. I know the do’s and don’ts, and the rules for a business. Of course the agency will happen in a completely different industry and market than sitonit, however all the key learnings and experiences will definitely help me in a future entrepreneur experience. Not to mention the acquired social-media and networking skills. I’m not saying it will be easy or that I have all the skills I need to achieve my goal of becoming a businesswoman or for creating my own agency, but I do believe that this experience in Kingston University has given me the chance of opening a door of opportunities thanks to the gained skills along this year.

To end this post, I will like to profoundly thank our module leader Corrine, for being a fantastic teacher and from showing us the world from a different aspect. Of course, I will also like to thank my classmates and friends from having given me the best moments of the course. And last but not least, to thank Catherine Morel the course leader, which has always lead us into a free spirit. Now I can say I’m proud to be a MACER11!

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Highlights of the year May 19, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — chunkycolours @ 2:12 pm

If I try to think of my highlights at Kingston University I automatically think of my friends…It’s funny how months ago I didn’t knew any of them and now they have changed my life completely…they have made the bad times look fun, they have been there for me, they have made me laugh LIKE CRAZY, they have made me learn through their example, and they have been my super higlight of this MA. Seriously I don’t know what I would have done without them. So guys if you are reading this, thank you for all of it! It’s been a blast!

Anyway, thinking of other highlights…I have to say that meeting people from all around the world has been amazing for me. In Mexico we are not really used to foreigners, there are not many of them…so for me every time I live out of the country I enjoy meeting new cultures and traditions the most. I can imagine how different would have the course been if we would all be from the same country. That’s why I think that this MA has been enriched by every single student that takes part of it…it’s not about the class you take, it’s about the classmates you have.

Another experience that was extremely useful for me and that I would like to remark, is the fact of having done a business out of scratch. I mean seriously who does that? No one! Usually you have an idea, and from the moment you have it to the moment you do business with it a minimum of 6 months happen!! Not in our case! We had the idea of our product, we made it and we sold it in matter of weeks! or even a week maybe if I remember correctly! I mean how can someone do that? well the Creative Economy MA students can!

 

The beginning of the end May 17, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — chunkycolours @ 12:10 am

Here I am, in the beginning of the end of this master. It is not the end, because dissertation (probably the most important part of the master) it’s on its way and we are just going to start getting into it, but it is the end because classes have finished and it no longer feels like if I’m doing a masters.

I can’t believe it went past so fast. I still remember the first day of class when the end of the year looked miles away from me. Even though I hardly knew what I was getting into, my mind was full with expectations, with excitement of the unknown of a new life. Now I have the same feelings and thoughts, but looking at another stage of my life…working at a new job, doing a dissertation which I have never done in my life, living in Mexico again, and most importantly….getting married (yes! i’m getting married next year!)

I still can’t believe how my life has changed in the last year. The scariest part is that I thought this masters was going to solve my life, and I that I would know by know where I’m heading, but it has not result that way. Now, instead of wanting one dream job I think of ten different dream jobs….and I still don’t know if that’s a bad thing or a good thing…the point is that for now I will do my best in ,y new job and my best in the dissertation and my best in planning my wedding (I don’t know if it’s possible to do all that at once so wish me luck!).

 

popping leadership April 26, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — chunkycolours @ 12:38 pm

What is being a leader? How can you be a leader in the creative economy? How can leadership bee represented? Can anyone be a leader or is a matter of being born with the skills for  becoming one? We were asked to answer these questions for an assingment of the class of ‘Leadership in the creative economy’…. My project was called ‘Popping leadership’ and this is how it looked like:Image

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pics are not great haha but anyway… what I intended to show in this project is that humans are like popcorn in a way….some of them pop some of them don’t, all of them are unique (there is not one popcorn idenical to another one) but still they are all popcorn, however they all start off in the same place, being a corn seed. Inspired on these facts I intended to represent the narrative of the creative leaders through the piece. I addressed to six factors: ambiance, time, collaboration, experience, personality and pertaining groups. 

–        Experience – The pure un-toasted kernels show the beginning of the story. The starting point of the narrative.

–        Ambiance – The small pan in the centre shows the ambiance and the heat where the corn kernels are intentionally put to make them pop.

–        Timing – The mix of kernels and popcorn in the pan, show the time of being in the heat until they pop.

–        Groups – The jar with the coloured popcorn show distinction between pertaining groups

–        Personality – The comparison between the jar with white popcorn and the jar with burnt corn kernels show how some grains pop and some do not.

–        Collaboration – The comparison between the jar with a single popped corn and the jar with popcorn shows the lack of rationale in a singular popped corn.

The creative leader has its own narrative, which will influence in the way he or she leads. The piece ‘popping leadership’ introduces some parts in the creative leader’s narrative. It intends to represent what all creative leaders need to acquire in order to become such leaders in the creative economy.

 The reason for a creative leader must be to inspire and direct the team members into the creative path.

They shall always keep a creativity flow within the team they are guiding. This is easier said than done, however if a person pops to become a creative leader is because they will be able to accomplish this.

 

 

Audio 2 – Creative director Etsy

Filed under: Uncategorized — chunkycolours @ 12:10 pm

Audio 2 – Creative director Etsy

Part 2….

 

Audio 1 – Creative director Etsy

Filed under: Uncategorized — chunkycolours @ 12:08 pm

Audio 1 – Creative director Etsy

As promised here are the audios for Randy Hunt’s conference…

 

Sitonit ad April 22, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — chunkycolours @ 6:04 pm

We were asked to make a sitonit ad for the class….for me the best assignment of the whole masters! Finally make¡ing ads. But the problem was that we really had no idea on how to do it or where to start…so we started off with a meeting. It was agreed that the best way to go for this product was stopmotion, since sitonit’s personality goes along stopmotion moves (fun and quick look). Anyway, I knew it was a huge challenge to do stopmotion, since we had no experience in this field. Still, we went for it and ended up with this:

It’s not perfect, but I still love it. It needs a lot of tweaks still, like audio,timing,  the end note at the end with logo, info, etc. But it’s getting there. We also had a lot more material that we could use, like pictures of the two sitonits hugging at the end and things like that. I think that once we have a final version of the ad, it could really help out with the promotion and communication of the product. Still, you can get the idea from it…tell me what you think…