Blog Archives

Find Inspiration: Entrepreneur’s 100 Brilliant Companies to Watch

Good afternoon DMIers. I hope you had a fantastic Labor Day weekend and are ready for week 3.

Tomorrow we’ll be diving into your digital media product concepts with Homework 1. We’ll be putting each product concept to the Sticky Test and brainstorm options for further development. We’ll also review Homework 2 and 3, which require you to start identifying details about your competitors and your market.

Here are some resources to help you find some inspiration in your work:

  • Entrepreneur’s 100 Brilliant Companies to Watch in 2016 highlights innovators across a wide range of industries including fashion, health, business services, tech, recreation and food. This is a great resource for a quick dive into entrepreneurs in specific industries you’re passionate about. Who knows, you may find a competitor or two in this feature.

Enjoy exploring your industries and fine-tuning your business ideas.


How to stand out from the job-hunting crowd

Happy Wednesday J445 Job Hunters. Standing out in positive ways from your competitors is the focus of our next class session.

Our guest speaker is Kristina Richmann who graduated from our program in 2011. Kristina is now a senior account executive with Vantage PR. She specializes in public relations and social media marketing. Her clients have been featured in top technology and mainstream publications, including ABC News, FOXBusiness, The Wall Street Journal, Ars Technica, GigaOM, Lifehacker, Engadget and more.

During her 8 a.m. chat she’ll identify specific things you can do during the job hunt to separate yourself from the competition. We’ll also have time for questions you have about the job-hunt process.

At 9 a.m. she’ll be in TGC discussing crisis PR and working with journalists to secure media coverage. Everyone is welcome to attend this session if you’re interested.

Be sure to check out the course Guest Speaker Policy if you have not already done so.

Also, your big project — portfolio, video elevator pitch and cover letter — is due in 19 days. Are you making solid progress on it? If not, come see me next week during office hours for whatever assistance you need.




Heading into the Final Stretch

Greetings DMSers. I hope everyone had a wonderful three-day weekend.

We’re only 32 days from course completion! Since we missed class yesterday, here’s an update on our next steps:

What’s Happening Monday

  • Verbal pitch: the next level of our pitch will include a discussion of your top competitors. You want to briefly cover two or three explaining their product offering, price point, standing in the industry. Then, clearly identify how your product is superior to your competitors. Time should not exceed 7 minutes including all the other content we’ve covered to this point. And, you need to have a visual component.
  • Product reviews: A few weeks ago, we looked at your logos and home pages or startup screens for your products. At that time, I indicated that each product would require mockups that walked users through the main features you have to offer. I’m sure you’ve been diligently working on these designs. Monday, we’re going to show the products on the big screen. I’ll select a student to act as your market and walk the class through her/his expectations of your product’s UI and functionality. Bring electronic files you’ll be able to open on one of the lab computers.
  • Grade updates: I’m wrapping up the grading on Homework 4 and your final blog this week. I’ll have full updates in print for each of you in class.
  • SETs: If you have not had time thus far to do your SET for the class, we’ll have time to do it during class Monday. You should have it in your Wildcat mail account.
  • Q&A: What burning questions do you have as we head into the final stretch?

Business Plan Reviews

I reviewed several draft business plans yesterday. Below, I’ve identified some common mistakes or issues to think about:

  • Repetition: While it’s natural to have some level of repetition, you do not want to be too repetitive in the business plan. Each section should focus on specific content and provide additional insight not found elsewhere. Think strategically about what info to include where.
  • Industry overview: it’s important that you offer some insight into the general state of the industry in which your product will exist. For example, several of you are doing productivity apps. You’ll want to address things like: how many productivity apps are available on the market today? How much money is made in this section of the industry? How many Americans use productivity apps? Then, the competition section focuses on your top-tier competitors.
  • Lack of source citations: Be certain to cite sources of facts and provide links to key research, articles, etc. There are several areas of the business plan where you should be pointing to primary and/or secondary research and credible sources of data.
  • Revenue generation: A hybrid approach is necessary. Advertising only, as clearly outlined in Briggs and several other sources we’ve used this semester, will not be enough for a sustainable business model. Additionally, you need to be very specific in your planning. For example, if you’re incorporating advertising as a revenue stream, you want to cover:
    • What types of advertising will you offer?
    • How and where in your product will those ads appear?
    • How many ad spaces do you have to sell within your product?
    • How much will you charge for the various ad spaces?
  • Writing news releases: there are lots of online sources. Here’s one I’ve shared with some of you.

Have a great rest of the week!