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

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

Solving The Problem

According to Mark Briggs, author of our course textbook Entrepreneurial Journalism, some of the most successful startups began by solving a problem that the company founder faced in her/his daily life. In Chapter 5, he cites Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith as one example. Bhatia and Smith wanted to have the ability to access their work email accounts from any computer with Internet access regardless of firewalls used by their employers. To solve their problem, they created Hotmail.

With Homework 1 you’re going to start identifying some possible startup concepts for your new business venture. One way to think about new products is to identify specific problems you face in activities you perform on a regular basis. Ideally, other people face this same problem, and they would be interested in the solution you develop to the problem.

Chapters 4 and 5 of the Briggs’ text will help you get started on this endeavor. Chapter 4 focuses on innovation: How does one innovate? What are the essential elements of innovation? Chapter 5 helps you to identify if your idea is just that — an idea — or does it have the potential to become a viable business concept.

During our Sept. 9 class you’ll be presenting two to three initial digital media startup concepts. See the Homework 1 handout under the Assignments tab for complete details.

We’ll help brainstorm your ideas during Monday’s class session.