Author Archives: Wei Kang

Money is Money

In a conventional view, money is physical and valuable. People use it to get what they want. On the other hand, people learn from that nothing is free. Money is not just narrowly defined as either notes or coins, actually it is kind of tools to measure the value of the goods and service; in turn, the effort that you have made to get this good and service. Put in the other words, the value of the good and service is equal to the opportunity cost. Based on this logic, the item why you think it is expensive or it is worthy to pay such a lot to get it, it is because its opportunity cost. For example, why the “ready to eat” is much more expensive than the raw food. The money you pay is not only for the food itself, but also the time that you would spend on cooking, the taste you would enjoy, the risk that you screwed up cooking, etc. Regarding the time you saved from cooking, you could invest on your work, with your family, or other things that much more worthy. The pleasant taste and the risk you avoided will endow you with a good mood and productive work. These opportunity cost would motivate you to pay this amount of money to buy this item, while motivate you to make more money to lead a better life.

Move back to the currency introduced in EBD, it does not really matter if it is physical or not, as nowadays, it is no longer a case following the emergence of crypto currency, digital banking. I would say, the opportunity cost for participants to get the credits is almost effortless. On the other hand, they are not informed what kind of “product” they could buy with these credits. So they cannot measure the value behind the  “product”, that is, they cannot identify the benefit they can get from it. It makes sense, no motivation that participants are not well engaged in doing homework or building their knowledge during the workshop. Besides, participants didn’t realize that these credits could be kind of tools helping them to gain extra advantages than other competitors, enabling them to win the prize in the end. To ensure credits taking its role , bearing in participants’ mind, these credits should be used very often when they are “building the blocks” through the sessions. In my opinion, at the end of every session, the participants can use the credits they earned to “buy” the tricks from advisers, professionals, or the managers from the company, which helps the team to build better knowledge base into the project, and which only hold it down within the team, rather than among all teams. We will expect at the end of final presentations, some of teams will stand out with solid ideas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Build in Action

Last week pre-meeting we discussed about action research related to EBD. Action research is a scientific approach to assist the “action” in improving or refining his/her actor.  The most important is, action research is always relevant to the participants. “Relevance” must be guaranteed, as it ensures that a specific solution would be figured out to the problem. Linking to EBD, even though this project is centred on designing a product or experience that smooths the Velocity releasing into market in May, however, it is not a real focus that should be defined by the researchers. Zip World and RibRide are hunting for the potential solutions to increase extra values on their cooperation and products, while they are not sure what exactly they are looking for. So the knowledge building and delivering in each workshop is at general level, while not well-targeted. Second, feedback, i.e. collecting the data regarding participants’ actions is an essential process that enables researchers and academics to adjust and improve participants’ actions in future. Currently, there is no this particular process. Therefore, this spiral process is cut off without this feedback process.  For participants, build their knowledge as the block is quite challenging, as they rarely did the reflection by themselves  neither given by the outside. They developed their own communication styles and social constructions, which might not be the most efficient way to create idea then form the product in the end.

From the side of researchers and academics, introduce the context is necessary, but how to deliver the most specific and relevant information about it is also important. As if participants not well understanding the context, then their actions will not relevant for the purpose of the research and consequently no specific solutions to the problem. Considering EBD, all participants are undergraduates with few working experience and business thinking. When academics deliver and introduce the knowledge at the beginning of each workshop, should think about if these participants digest the information and knowledge properly and efficiently. Based on what I saw among group performance, they are not managing very well. Unsurprisingly, their actions are far from the requirements of the tasks, sometimes even give up playing their roles on it. This kind of learning-analyzing-improving process is destructed.

 

What exists is valuable

This  Idea Generation Week, has much fun, as each team is required to create 24 ideas, based on all of the assignments of previous weeks, i.e. persona, scenarios, context and location based technology. Each team experienced two-round brainstorms, creating 24 ideas in the end. During this around 30 mins, even if members were only required to create rather than to evaluate the ideas, however, this evaluation process still ongoing while they writing down the paper. Some critical words popped up very often when they shared their thoughts, such as “making non-sense”, “naive”, “stupid”, etc. I believe, each member should have much more ideas than what they have written down, which means, many ideas have been killed in their mind, by their own evaluation process. It is understandable, as each team is ambitious that they seek for the perfect one, in order to win the prize in the end. However, Hegel’s “What exists is reasonable” link to the business running, what exists is valuable, even if they look like very irrational. When I gave an example for the template of ideas by randomly mixing up 4 elements I tried to force them to make it “rational” while creating some connection among the 4 elements, they actually made it. Some ideas might be far-fetched, but we cannot deny, they are still have potentials to be reasonable and  create value in future, as these ideas might just need more conditions/elements to make it reasonable.

Location based technology, more lean to engineering. Students from other backgrounds found a bit difficult to understand the rationale behind these technology, thereby feel much more constrained when they combine it with other 3 elements. On the other hand, these students have more opportunities of jumping out of the box, discovering other potentials behind these ideas. Sharing here therefore is essential, facilitators encourage members to speak out their thoughts, no matter if it is “stupid”, enabling these thoughts circulate within the group very well.

 

 

 

 

Where is the solution, where is the value…

Last week 11 teams presented their ideas and received immediate feedback from our judge panel composed of the representatives from Zip World and Rib Ride. It is a good learning and sharing between our participants and the companies. Teams identified current problems, such as the transportation, accommodation and also potential value behind which in North Wales tourism industry, such as corporation with local business, social media selling, etc. So far, each team has got several valuable ideas in their mind. However, find out the solution for the current problems or to realize the potential value into tangible asset becomes the first hurdle before forming into a specific product. A feasible and efficient solution would not only capitalize the product but also reduce the cost while adding extra value into the product itself. Yes, budget is one of the main criteria which would constrain how far this product will go. However, thinking about the underlying idea of BASE, i.e. Business, Art, Psychology and Engineering, there are plenty of work could be done to build up a final product.

 

Learning how to evaluate the current ideas on hand from various perspectives would add more extra value into the product. Meanwhile, stand on the side of the companies, what they have already got, what else could be improved and promoted for the existings, what kind of product they are looking for, why they would like to buy into this product, how much benefits they could earn from this product… From both sides to evaluate the ideas, it would help you to narrow down and identify which one is the best focused.

 

In a perspective of Wellness…

Last workshop moved on to creating scenarios by combining the previous homework on User Personas and the Environment Asset Map. It is not a difficult task for participants to imagine and model the experience of users moving between Zip World and Rib Ride.The group (#”And the winner is”) I facilitated picked up the surfer as their targeted user. We analysed the surfer are supposed to have strong personality, such as risk-seeking, high in self-esteem and potential needs, such as more outdoor activities, and diet and healthy food, etc. However, when we started creating the scenario, they are quite confused about the concept of wellness, though it has been introduced in the slides at the very beginning. We went back to the slides and tried to understand the different dimensions centred on wellness.  We further identified the potential value in terms of mind, soul, body, spirit, of which the surfer might be looking for during the journey.

Through this task, we realized, link the wellness to the business would add extra value on the relationship between Zip World and Rib Ride. This is kind of value for Enterprise by Design, helping shape our business ideas and allow us to learn advanced on-the-job skills before diving in headfirst.