Reflective Essay- Design Thinking

Alex’s Reflective Report

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

I always wanted to be businessman even when I was a kid, I majored in computer science I loved it but my heart lies in business technology, innovation, design thinking. Being an entrepreneur is what I want to do initially but first I had to learn what it needs to be one. Unfortunately we came to an end with ‘My Journey to Design Thinking’ and coming to think of it I enjoyed it and will miss it. In my reflective essay I would like to contribute and summaries the main elements of my startup journey, and the education that was being placed and taught. In this essay I would like to address how my journey was during the time I started the course until the end. I have had a wonderful journey with the programme and Mace team, I have learned a lot with Mace and there are more entrepreneurs like myself and that has patched me up, which I got different views from them and learned new aspects. We have met many public speakers, design workshops at other facilities during our term with Kingston University It was another experience for the entrepreneurs to come and talk about everything and having all the case study slides structuring the key points of business. That also helps with my startup as a business structure or development sheet.  I did not have the knowledge and guidance at the beginning but thanks to Innovation management and entrepreneurship I have learned to establish many new endorsements. It is based on empathy, participation and engagement, tolerance for failure and risk taking (Brown, 2009). I was nervous to pitch but know I’m not because I have rehearsed by myself and with my teams for Chop Plus. I have learned about management, time keeping, and this topic is important because we had to work on certain assignments with deadlines during group work. There was the dragons den pitch, coursework submissions where management had to be reinforced in full action. I learned how to pre plan ahead and just to get one day out and think of what needs to be done first for the team.

The Idea

Chop Plus was developed with my team this helped me learn and elaborate towards my business startup. After forming with the team of 3 more members in my class we came up with Chop Plus!

Dragons Den Pitch- Silicon Valley Pitch

real-pres2

I with my team members pitching our business proposition to judge’s mix of successful entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists.

 

Pitching and Presenting

Pitching my innovative product and the mechanism behind it as I did for Chop Plus.

IMG_2371.JPG

IMG_2387

 

By using the concept of the “Elevator Pitch” an entrepreneur should be able to catch the attention of the potential investor that I was presenting. Our aim was to Develop and communicate a clear rationale for actions and practice; such as pitch rehearsing, develop further self-awareness and self-confidence; take informed action; clarify assumptions and beliefs given by lecturers, YE etc. Allowing us to become more emotionally grounded; and, focus on continuous growth and improvement. There are rules for developing a strategy. As with all rules, following them is not enough; have to work hard and make them come alive in order to stand a chance of achieving success. (Jonathan Kettleborough founder of Ten CORE)

The mains rules I followed are:

  • Starting from the outside in- (I have networked in another region now)
  • Maintain growing and supporting the startup business-(I’m still trying to accomplish this objective).
  • Clear value propositions for the customer- With Osterwalders theory we have used a value proposition canvas where we followed certain aspects of the customers’ needs. Such as making it easier for the user to use them instead of chopsticks. It encourages consumers to try far Asian cuisine.
  • Marketplace- Restaurants, canteens, Sushi stores
  • Communicate clearly with Angels, such as my Pitch to Dragons Den, and Barry O-Brien.

I have achieved 4 rules which was keep growing and supporting the startup business. Business is originated in the U.K there are other places for expansion in other regions that are not covered. Different countries are certainly a growth expansion for any business.

 

Team work Journey canvas

Working with my team into designing chopsticks where it was easier to use. We designed and created a prototype called chop Plus. In business failing is normal, it’s what gets you going and keep on being innovative successful. As mentioned Einstein failed over 100 times in one problem, but his 101 he got it right, so for me it was to never give up. .  Failures are just experiments and, as Rob Fitzpatrick wrote,‘What’s best sometimes is learning, not selling’ (2014)

 IMG_0966

 

Challenges

Challenges we had to face as a team was time coordination and not able to find a U.K manufacturer because it was to expensive and outsourcing was not allowed because of young enterprise policy.

Young enterprise taught me the needs into establishing a successful business and the tools that’s needed. An example for that can be opening a specific account with HSBC bank and have different people running the organisation as in terms it was my classmates. This was conducted also and we learned how to use it in the future with my startup journey. Attending trade fairs such as Kingston Town Center, Kingston Business School has been a very good experience it was quiet fun speaking and communicating with people. Communication was very important to us. That’s what keeps the relation going between business and the team, and the people you deal with. In our trade fair in Kingston business school we have created questionnaires so we could get customer feedback regarding our product etc.

Blogging

When I first started to blog I never have blogged in my life. I’m actually really glad I learned how to blog because it opened up my horizons and made me more aware of events that has occurred and is like a journal for me now. Another main impact using blog wordpress was that blogs are great ways of gaining confidence, practicing writing, and participating in networks of other learners. WordPress blog is a effective and a powerful marketing tool and platform. I have seen many of my classmates’ blogs and I find it interesting because we all have things in common such as the same course and masters. I have discussed regarding Silicon Valley bank on my blog and the organization has read it and liked my blog because it was connected with my wordpress, and twitter account. I would like to thank the course lecturer for design thinking because I have learned new skills. Blogging and pitching where that’s very important for me in my life because I’m pursuing VCs, Angels. These skills all helped me implement my future for the next big step and be ready and aware of what you need to be done.

My last blogs vs. my first blogs are very different as you can see I learned more during the months passing and learned my way into getting better and I enjoy it. I wish we had to do 20 blogs because it would have been more exciting in terms of what needs to be blogged and how important it was for me.

Marketing

As For marketing, communications plays a big role as in terms of using twitter and headlining certain updates for Chop Plus. Consumers might have a question via twitter; communicating back with them using that platform is a strong marketing tactic. It enables more sales and awareness of the company and product. For Chop Plus we used mainly Twitter which worked out pretty good. I never used twitter before the course and I’m active on it always, and again it was a right choice for me to have because its one powerful marketing tool.

IMG_1488

Cycle of critical reflection.

That’s the cycle that shows my Reflective essay in terms of the critical reflections I have experienced during design thinking and how it will benefit me and my classmates in the future. (image included in turnitin)

 

Conclusion

I have made new friends, met some very great interesting people here in the course and for our university trip, I am more opened and connected to the world. I done a bit of networking during my stay there in San Francisco and made a contact who owns a warehouse and I wanted to expand the business for growth and new opportunity.  We have came to a conclusion to work together and partner up where he will give me access to his warehouse to send the goods and from there he will dispatch. Kingston University made this happen with our master program. They have organized our bus, hotel, admissions to Alcatraz etc, and meeting big campus such as Google. I was very impressed by the connections the course had in terms of contacting all these big company’s and agreeing into seeing us. It was really nice seeing all the tech firms along the way to Palo Alto we saw Amazon where that’s associated in Silicon Valley too. It was amazing to see how innovative all these organizations can be and they are constantly being more innovative which I am amazed of. I have experienced another side of business and innovation in Silicon Valley which I admired. I have written 15 blogs so far and it’s getting more interesting for me to continue and carry on writing. I’m thinking of staying with word press and blog more in regards of my startup business and ventures. I think some people could use it as a reference for startups as I have learned during my academic year with Innovation management and entrepreneurship. I blogged about all sorts of activities, I have done design thinking for shoe designs to pitching ideas to judges like dragons den, where it then it happened for real. This is why I think my journey was a ride from learning to traveling is something I love doing. I’m still growing my startup business in ceramics but that’s normal in any business. Since I’m working by myself there are more responsibilities and it takes time. I was focusing more on my studies rather than working on my startup more. I am glad I chose to focus more on my education rather than working without knowledge, expertise, and guidance the module helped me and made me more knowledgeable of business, finance, diversity, design thinking, the growth of business and how to grow a business in design thinking.

                                                                           

 

                                                                         References

Bessant, John, and Joe Tidd. Innovation And Entrepreneurship. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, 2014. Print. 

BROWN, T., 2009. Change by design : how design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation. New York: New York : Harper Business.

Brookfield, S.D. 1995. Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher. Jossey-Bass, CA.

Ellis, Sean. “Lean Startup And Business Modeling Tools, Content, And Coaching — LEANSTACK”.Leanstack.com.

Jonathan Kettleborough is founder of the TenCORE User Group and former chairman of the e-Learning Network. Author of Seeing Eye to Eye – How people professionals can achieve lasting alignment and success within their business, blogger, conference speaker and lecturer,

Kettleborough, Jonathan. “Build A Winning L&D Strategy | Training Journal”. Trainingjournal.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.

“Learning & Development Strategy Introduction | Factsheets | CIPD”. CIPD. 2017.

OSTERWALDER, A., PIGNEUR, Y., 2014,Value Proposition Design: How to Create Products and Services Customers Want, Hoboken : John Wiley & Sons, New Jersey.

sadat, alex. “Alex Sadat (@Alexsadatuk) | Twitter”. Twitter.com/Innovation. N.p.

thomson, peter j. “Value Proposition Canvas Template – Peter J Thomson”. Peter J Thomson

Advertisements

My first real Pitch in silicon valley bank

imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageWe had a meeting with the managing director Barry O’Brien in Silicon Valley Bank california with our class. We enjoyed our chat and meeting with Barry and i managed to get free time with him so i can pitch my start up idea with him. At the end of my pitch he gave me his card and said you would first need intellectual property patent design licensing which stops other companys from just taking my idea and copying everything im doing. Once i have obtained the right licensing requirments he told me to call him and discuss further. From my view i think it went well and it was a wonderful experience as it was my first real pitch with a company which was worth more then 17 billion dollars.

To obtain funding or investment?
launching a new product requires 100% investment there are numerous ways to obtain funding for your project to help move it forward. Some of these methods are outlined below:
* Venture Capitalists / Angel Investors where i pitched to Barry O’Brien and i was so happy that i had the opportunity to do so.

For My startup to work, Before choosing which is the right path for me to commercialise the idea, it is important to show how much i have invested in my project itself, to professionally develop the idea. This is why protecting and designing the product are so important, prior to marketing. I have learned how important it is to prioritise certain goals and objectives before persuading angels which one licensing is very important. This means nobody can copy my product and its my innovative idea, i did not know this before and i have learned this from that experience.

Alex’s journey with Mace to Silicon Valley!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Alex journey to success has now turned into a real journey to Silicon Valley! There i have discovered another journey in design thinking and learning about innovative ideas, products, or services. We have visited placed such as:

Sales Force
Plug and Play
Institute of Technology
Reddit
Google
Valley Bank

They all started from the bottom in silicon valley and made it up utilizing help with all the investors (seed money), partners, resources being organised in that area. Their is a lot of people from different backgrounds and countries who make it happen. I like the fact that race did not play a role in those organisations because they are all foreign such as google founder ” Sergei being from russia. I think Its really awesome getting everyone together. We started our journey with our classmates in Sanfrancisco where we all stayed in a hotel called “villa florence” it was in union square where its like the “downtown” of that area. It was nice during the day but I’m afraid to say that its very extreme and rough during the night. Overall my experience was very good because i explored a new area where i have never been before. As a classmate we all explored Alcatraz Island where the history was really interesting. We went to institute of technology where i have attached pictures of the museum of technology. It was full of innovate ideas and designs from where the first apple computer was and how they started. It was the whole history where it shows how they were innovative at those times until the current situation of the companies like Apple or gameboy.
It also has the first gameboy and all the rest of gameboys. It shows how they were innovative as in coming up with more products such as gameboy colour, gameboy pocket etc.

Im glad the university has organised this trip for our masters course because it opened up my boundaries and have learned a lot during visiting the companies and the different views they had and work ethics. Another benefit the course has given us was networking. We had met all different types of companies and aspects on how they orchestrate their business and has mentored us in a way. I met alot of new friendly people also, and I loved visiting Reddit because we met the co-founder of the company named Alexis and its really cool meeting someone like that in that position where you actually get mentored in how you can make it happen with genuine words given by him. We had a bus driver named Mike who we became friends with our journey. He toured us around palo Alto and silicon valley, Sanfrancisco to different organisations. I would like to thank Dr Yazid Abdullahi he was not only our professor but im very honoured to say he is a friend. As a classmate and Mace, we all came more close together and actually were quiet sad that our lectures and trip was coming to an end, but we have formed a whatsapp group and facebook group where where we all share pictures and moments of our journey and always keep in touch with everyone in our class including our professors.

Last presentation with dragons den

Our last dragons den presentation for choplus! We was really nervous at one point with our team when we went in but Overall we actually loved it at the end because we got good feedback from the judges and we presented it quiet well. I was covering marketing and was discussing our tradfairs we had in kingston town center and in kingston university business school alongside Spitefield. We was there for a long duration andconveyed with our product.  I really enjoyed the process the was taken place, We also had the judges test both of the products out and managed to find Chop Plus easier. Our practises for our pitch we rehearsed and put together with the team helped us stand out more at the end with our pitch. I have learned alot of curves and downfall but thats all normal and part of the cycle and society process. Einstein also failed many many times in order to get it a equation right and he got it right at the End!

I have experienced how it would be in the future if i was pitching for a job related scenorio or a business pitch with a VC etc. It helped me enable those paths which was fulfilled with design thinking course. It could not get any better, our professors, and dragons den judges were the best candidates chosen for, and thats not just because they were so friendly and nice but they all came from different backgrounds and different areas of expertise and thats where we their attention into the culture and public awareness of Chop Plus. Surprisngly how it went i got the understanding that they were interested in that market and they were keen to know more about it. People do loving expermenting different food and alot of people love far asian food. People like my dad or uncle do not know how to use a chopstick and i would purchase 2 for them and hopefully get a discount. The results and the usability of choplus was much easier and viable to use where sushi was taken and demonstrated. After our pitch one thing left me thinking that its the last pitch and day for design thinking.I had a wonderful time and journey with the whole classmates and activities that was taken place with design thinking. I wish the best for everyone in #mace

Tradefair Returns

Mace 16 has excited us with a different venue this time rather then having our tradefair at kingston university business school, but in kingston town center london. I have found this experience actually more exciting and fun then the other tradfair. The reason beneath this is that we communicated and met more people from all over london amd other places. We had different customers (target groups) where they asked about our product and were interested in chop plus product. I met alot of different people with all different age groups, cultures. I really loved meeting them and getting their opinions and views like the other groups who interviened with us. Unfortunetly we did not have the product with us at hand but marketing our product and bring awareness to the crowd could help us promote our product because of the recognition of “Chop Plus”being at the TradeFair. We did have business cards layed in the stalls for our booth which we place our product, or product information which that was our case. I actually have ran out of business cards which i gave it to potential customers who were seemingly interested because they never used chopsticks before. I passed around 25-30 cards so i was keen to explain to them the mechanism of Chop Plus and what its actually about. I learned alot about what we actually done and what needs to be done. I have tweeted about our tradefair in my twitter page @Alexsadatuk where a video is being shown. I do believe in learning curves or else i would not learned from mistakes,i can only better it and come to a better conclusion in different scenorios. What really mattered to me was i learned already and never forget what i done, opinions given to me i will take it as a advice and i respect everybodys opinions. This will also better me or other people in the group for the future. I like to the thank everybody who organised this joyful event and cant wait what happens next in our venture

Preparing for the next trade fair

The next trade fair is set on 8th February. I am actually really excited for it because i had a good time on the last trade fair. Currently we are focusing on actually getting the product but we are still having issues with it. We will have t-shirts, flyers and business cards at the fair momentarily. The team is working on social media networking and information in regards to it. The social media platform we are using is a Facebook page because i think it will help us raise awareness to the public and promote our product and what we are actually representing. Our target market is ‘International Students’.

As stated before not everyone can use chopsticks because most westerners etc are not used to it.It even took me a couple years to learn but i was luckily very young in experimenting oriental food so it was easy for me. For example for my parents or my grandma i am not sure if they would know how to use it LOL! I think our product would be useful for numerous of people who are beginners. There is no age limit also, im not saying baby’s can use it but anyone who could use a fork can also use ChopStick plus. I am trying to research another company in the UK who are product builders due to the difficulties we are having now with the previous one.

I have googled ”UK product design companies” and came with a few companies where i will give them a ring on Monday. Hopefully we should get a quote and to an agreement with the company. I am not sure what the timeframe will also be but as soon as possible where we are in a strict deadline. We have made headlines with my fellow team members. As seen in the images below me and George are trying to build a online reputation where twitter is heavily involved now. I was not highly active before in twitter but i am now and learning how to use it better productively with the team and on my own. Learning how to use it as a  marketing technique, we could also attract potential customers into our pages. The class of Design thinking is helping me learn these methods and i will be using twitter and Facebook for the future.

The TradeFair Day

The tradefair has begun it was one of the best experience i had actually. Met alot of new people where it was just not a trade fair but also networking. We met incredible innovators, well spoken, very polite and friendly where i was quiet impressed. I was involved in taking surveys and questionaires from other people in regards of our product “Chop Plus”. Unfortunetly our product did not come on time but we have managed to get data from people which was very helpful and useful for our next stage of development. We got great feedback from customers in regards to improvements and what is missing. I also asked Alice our lecturer for some feedback which she was extremely generous in helping with our survey which helped us alot. I am also very happy and proud because one of the groups in our class Won the prize Namitha, Karim, Malay once again congratulations on their success. It was my first time in a trade fair, I been to business exhibitions before but i did not find it interesting like our Trade fair. I honestly enjoyed it. I thought we are going to have a long day because i had a lecture at 9am lol, but i had a really good time, and time just flew by. I really cant wait until our next trade fair. It was wonderful seeing our professors Janja, Yazid, and alice there, i also got good feedback from Yazid which i really appreciated his thoughts and opinions. My team George, Zako, Theresa put in alot of  effort also. George was our team leader their. Very focused he was giving me also advice and tips which helped me also. He is older then me and i respect the fact he shares his opinions and views in way where you respect It after and take it in consideration.

Quote the day:

You always learn from older people, it can be the right choices they made or the wrong choices, both ways you can take it as a lesson.     -Alex Sadat

 

Chop-Plus progression

Our group is really well structured. We have Zara in charge of being the company secretary and social media platform.

We have Teresa Reister in charge of writing the final paper for our Chop-Plus and management.

George Uka is in charge of head of finance

Zako Isse is in charge of orchestrating the trade fair events and anything that is in regards of marketing, and I’m in charge of promoting the product at events.

Teresa orchestrated the logo for our company’s name which is ”Chop-Plus” she knew a  person named ‘Charlie’ that came up with the design and colour. We really like the new look and design and we are looking forward to organising chop plus more and making a profit eventually. In todays lecture we had Young Enterprise that came and gave our cheque books but there was an error with that because we have not received our cheques last week so we had to cancel them. We had a few issues regarding questions like corporation tax and tax questions, but thanks to the lecturer’s, and Young Enterprise they went through it and instructed us what to do.  The main issue we have at the moment is not having our product ready. We have a big start next week from organising the fair we was told that we need some kind of attraction. Meaning we will offer snacks to potential customers. Dress code is another factor, we will colour coordinate with my fellow teammates and dress professionally. One issue I am having ”Personally” is that logging in Young Enterprise because I forgot my password due to changing it and know it wont let me access it because its blocked. I will wait until 24 hours if this issue is resolved automatically, if not I will contact a member of YE or my tutor to resolve it. The strategies I will use as a sales director will be mentioned throughout my next blog because I will have to work on it by myself progressively this week. I have a few strategies’ which one was issued by a member of YE with offering refreshments. That’s one down, I will summon more ideas. Thank you guys!!

img_1427

holiday and the new start of 2017#goals

image.pngimageChristmas is over, new years is beginning and im looking forward for 2017. I have managed to come up with a new years resolution. I really want to stick to it. Many people tend to say that they will do certain goals but fail. My new years resolution is more related in healthy lifestyle. I want to be more healthier in terms of diet, and exercise. I use to exercise 3 times a day minimum now i hardly go twice a month. They are ways to fullfill it so i have conducted some browsing over the internet with information on how to achieve your goals. Apparently there is this 5 golden rule saying which i did not know about until today. Setting Goals that Motivate You. When settting goals for yourself or myself, it is important that they motivate you: this means making sure that they are important to you, and that there is value in achieving them.
Set SMART Goals. …
Set Goals in Writing. …
Make an Action Plan. …
Stick With It!

those are the 5 golden rules where i call it “life hacks” This reference can help in many ways. Not only for a a specific goal like my new years resolution but in everyday life also. I hope this information helps with some of my fellow readers and bloggers thats collaborated with Mace. There is an interesting article that was recently published by Lewis Howes which he is a
Lifestyle Entrepreneur, Coach, Advisor

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.entrepreneur.com/amphtml/287220?client=safari

Its relating goals and the formula for our greatest year yet i found it full of information and its new information so cant go wrong.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and a happy new year. I wish everyone a good start, happyness, health, success, and prosperity.

The quote of the day:

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”

—Zig Ziglar

 

Christmas party with #Mace16

image

First of all, time just flys by. I remember counting every single day of christmas with my choclate calendar on my wall when i was younger, but now we only have less then a week for christmas. The whole team plus our professor came by and we celebrated christmas with passion. I honestly had a very good time with #Mace full of laughter, enjoyment, and excitement. We also met #Mace15 alongside with us which was interesting.  We all went to central london food festival by the london eye.  They had food, music, and drinks so i cant complain lol. I love the feeling of christmas every year its full of joy and all about friends, and family. One thing about christmas is that i love the colorful lights displayed everywhere especially in oxford circus they are so beautiful. I hate the dark no light sceneries i hope many can agree on that. When i was a kid i was scared of the dark so i think thats a reason for me lol. Months flew so quick and i met so much great people along the way to our journey In design thinking where it was wonderful feeling. This week i was doing some design thinking on much electricity is being used in christmas and believe it or not its expensive. I thought of a way for all us to be more environmental friendly, and this is very cost efficient.

I done some research on figures of lights being used from december and how much they were paying more etc. and heres what i came with. If you are getting ready to put up Christmas lights, think twice before hanging the incandescent strands. Incandescent strands are type of lights where it uses more electricity, just in case somebody does not know what it meens. I have also posted a picture of it.image

While they are cheap to buy, the electricity to operate them is not. LEDs are more expensive, but a much lower impact on your monthly electric bill. If you reuse your holiday lights from year to year, LEDs are the ones.

OTHER TIPS ON SAVING ENERGY

There are ways to reduce energy consumption each season. Combine LED Christmas lights with the following to increase electricity savings:

Timers – Few Holiday goers are out and about at 2 am in the morning. Use a timer to control how long your lights are on.
Extension Cords – Instead of using light strings to add length to your display, utilize extension cords in less visible areas

Hope this helps guys and thanks for viewing my blogs, i will add more this week.

I wish everyone has a wonderful Christmas and a new year cant wait to see you guys back. #Mace16 #forever

Merry Christmas and a happy new year xx