Blog Archives

Starting to Define The Problem

Greetings DMIers:  I hope you found our design thinking challenge around the gift-giving experience insightful and entertaining. We’ll continue to use design thinking concepts throughout our course. If you’d like to learn more about those who designed the challenge we did, please explore the Institute of Design at Stanford.

Course Website Updates
I’ve made a few adjustments to our website:

  1. Homework page: I’ve reorganized the order of the assignments to represent the order in which they’ll be accomplished. There are no new additions, just hopefully a clearer order to help you meet deadlines.
  2. Guest Speakers: We’re going to have four guest speakers in the coming weeks and you can find initial details about them on this page.

Looking Ahead to Monday’s Class
You should be in the process of finalizing DMI Brief #3 which has you identifying specific innovators in the industries you are most passionate about. It’s my hope that this brief will help you to start contemplating your digital media product concept.

Monday in class you’ll start putting into writing and sketches some initial concepts for Homework 1. A key point to keep in mind about this product concept creation:

  • The most successful products solve a specific problem the market feels. It will be key for you to be able to clearly define The Problem your market faces. I often refer to this as your customer’s pain point. Example: Here’s the link to the Instagram founder’s comments on finding the problem we saw in class.

I have two resources to share this week 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 the rest of your weekend. I’ll see you Monday.

Best,
@DebraJChico

Art Credit: Unsplash.com, CC Zero

Getting Started In Entrepreneurial Journalism

Happy Sunday DMI: This week in Digital Media Innovation we’re going to start exploring how entrepreneurial perspectives are influencing news media companies and the overall industry.

To help you start learning more about life as an entrepreneur I suggest you start following news media outlets that cover this specific area. Here are a few great places to start:

Sign up for the free enewsletters offered by these organizations. This gets you great news headlines delivered right to your inbox. You’ll want to start a collection of key content focusing on the industry areas you are most excited about. For example:

And, you’ll want to track approaches to entrepreneurial journalism:

Have fun diving in this week. Use these resources to start contemplating The Problem you’ll dive into in a few weeks.

@DebraJChico

Image Source: Unsplash.com, CCZero license

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.

@DebraJChico

Welcome to JOUR 451: Digital Media Innovation for News & PR

Greetings DMIers: I hope you had a successful first week of the fall 2016 semester.

MONDAY’S CLASS
We’re going to do a Design Thinking activity that was created by the Institute of Design at Stanford. In our class session you will:

  • Brainstorm the gift-giving experience with a partner.
  • Based on that brainstorm you’ll develop a product prototype.
  • Then, you’ll test that prototype with your partner.

The pace will be quick and that’s intentional. Remember to spend some time before class thinking about your last gift-giving experience. Think about the process, not just the person you gave a gift to and what the actual gift was. Also, think about your personal motivations in this activity.

Bring to class any tools that will help you with creativity. I’ll bring sugar and something healthy to snack on.

START FINDING THE PROBLEM
You also want to start your brain churning on your DMI product concept task. A few ways to help you jump start your creativity:

  • Google search entrepreneurs and startup companies in the industries you’re most passionate about. Start looking at what innovation is happening now in those areas. Also, research the companies you most want to work for. Who are the intrapreneurs at those companies and what innovations are they creating?
  • 1 Pager: Now That’s Innovation (due Wednesday).
  • Homework 1 (due Sept. 7) forces you to put into writing some initial product concepts.

A key point to keep in mind about this product concept creation:

  • The most successful products solve a specific problem the market feels. It will be key for you to be able to clearly define The Problem your market faces. I often refer to this as your customer’s pain point.
  • Here’s the link to the Instagram founder’s comments on finding the problem we saw in class.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. I’ll see you Monday.

Best,

@DebraJChico

Twitter image source: Startup Stock Photos, CCO license

Let the Creativity Flow

Greetings DMIers: I hope you had a successful week 1 and that you’re ready to leap into week 2.

TUESDAY’S CLASS

We’re going to do a design thinking activity that was created by the Institute of Design at Stanford. In our class session you will:

  • Brainstorm the gift-giving experience with a partner.
  • Based on that brainstorm you’re going to develop a product prototype.
  • Then, you’re going to test that prototype with your partner.

The pace will be quick and that’s intentional. Remember to spend some time before class thinking about your gift-giving experience. Think about the process, not just the person you gave a gift to and what the actual gift was. Also, think about your personal motivations in this activity.

START FINDING THE PROBLEM

This week we’re also going to start diving into the creation of your original DMI product concept. You have two assignments to help you jump start your creativity:

  • DMI 1 Pagers: Now That’s Innovation (due Thursday): This task has you identify innovators within the industry you want to focus on this semester. To create your own idea, you need to know what’s already happening in your industry: Who are the innovators? What cool things are being created?
  • Homework 1 Startup Ideas (due Sept. 8) forces you to put into writing some initial product concepts.

Two points to highlight about this product concept creation:

  1. As we saw in the introductory course videos last week, many people will argue that you should follow your passion in your startup ideas. But others, Steve Jobs included, argue that you should focus on what you’re good at rather than what you are passionate about. Why? Check out this Medium article.
  2. The most successful products solve a specific problem the market feels. It will be key for you to be able to clearly define The Problem your market faces. I often refer to this as your customer’s pain point. Example:
  • Let’s say you love going to music festivals or live sporting events. Think about the problems/negative experiences that come along with participation in this activity. If you had the power to change something in this experience, what would it be? Talk to your friends, do they have the same pain point as you? Perhaps they have a different problem to be solved?

The assigned chapters in the Briggs text will also dive into the topics listed above and help you jump start your new product concept creative process.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. I’ll see you in class Tuesday.

Best,
@DebraJChico

Is that a news story or a paid ad?

Good Mornings DMSers. We started a great discussion yesterday about corporate journalism, branded journalism and sponsored content. Just to make it more interesting, let’s also throw in these terms: content marketing and native advertising.

At our next class session, we’re going to continue this discussion by examining content samples to help differentiate these terms and to understand how they might apply to your digital media startups. Additionally, we’re going to dive into some of the ethical questions being discussed in news and PR circles on these topics.

Let’s also touch on this from a reader’s perspective: Can they differentiate between news and ads in the digital space? Does it even matter?

One of the sites we’ll examine is the Richmond Standard. As you’ll see in the following links, there are various points of view on this Chevron project:

A Chevron PR website pretends to be an objective news source, published in the Los Angeles Times.

Corporate Journalism is better than no journalism, a guest post published in PRNewser.

This article, which does not address the Chevron project, also sheds some interesting light on these topics:

What does the rise of brand journalism mean? For one thing, it means journalists have to up their game, published in GigaOm. I strongly recommend you dive into the hyperlinks within this piece.

I’m really looking forward to this conversation. Enjoy the articles.

Best,
@DebraJChico

Chat with J&PR alumnus Matt Kiser

Greetings DMSers. During Wednesday’s class session we’ll have digital entrepreneur Matt Kiser live from New York!

Matt graduated from the news side of our program and has worked for Forbes, Fuse and Spin. He started in music journalism and now is a product manager at Business Insider.

His experience in the entrepreneurial journalism space includes helping companies develop new products, content strategy and developing strategies for increasing user engagement.

Check him out online:

Matt is going to talk about his career path and how you can apply the lessons of entrepreneurship to your career.

Bring your questions and be prepared for an engaging hour of discussion.

Best,
@DebraJChico

Designing for Digital Journalism

Happy Saturday, DMSers. I hope the planning and research on your markets, The Problem and product ideas are going well.

I wanted to share a few great reads that directly relate to our focus on entrepreneurial journalism:

From news startup Circa comes “Kevin Rose’s’ North Technologies releases photo-sharing app.” This story highlights the classic Silicon Valley tech approach: create a Minimum Viable Product, get it to market, test it and test it some more, if it gains traction then start a deeper build out.

From NiemanLab comes an interesting piece about product design: Designer or Journalist: Who shapes the news you read in your favorite apps?

This second story is relevant as we’ll be moving into product design in the coming weeks.

Enjoy!

@DebraJChico