Since my chosen topic was a web-app for design & dynamic media I chose to use a new dynamic presentation tool within that realm. There are extended media links indicated by arrows within the file, and also an external link to a basic SWOT analysis used to compose the report. Little information was actually available about the financials of the product itself given it’s newness so I examined how it was situated in relation to the target market.
As a student of design, evaluating a venture from the perspective of potential investors is a new vantage point; it’s a critical one that perhaps isn’t educated for enough in the field. I remember my “Professional Practice” class in the final year of my degree, which was all about protecting one’s own interest and intellectual property through contracts. It didn’t come close to preparing one for the possibility of entrepreneurship, which in perhaps short-sighted when 29% of Emily Carr grads are cited as entrepreneurs. Typically in my field designers are taught to create a meaningful products from the end-user (buyer) perspective user using novel approaches, but this thinking rarely extends to the larger processes and forces at play in actually launching and supporting a successful venture. This is perhaps why many wonderful product ideas fail, or are launched many years later in similar form by those with the skill and the know-how to do it. The supporting facets of a product that might be required to achieve this could potentially be designed-in to support the larger goals if considered.
In short, I’m realizing that designers need to consider (in addition buyers/users) the role of a successful entrepreneur, the needs/aims of venture capitalist and the specifics of the market if a product/infrastructure or service is to be feasible. I will consider this in my upcoming opportunity pitch. In many ways the actions of the entrepreneur in mediating all of these complex factors are perhaps more important than the design, as one’s actions in the market must be effective, critically timed, and well supported at every important turn. When considering educators in relation to buying into or funding projects, they are not always the lead buyers hence why the interest of administrators must be taken into consideration. Also while it is a nice thought to think that a revolutionary new product might be invented to up-end or replace existing educational product infrastructure, this is in reality a monumental goal given past and continued investment and costs sunk into these infrastructures. Often small, low-cost modular solutions that may be retro-fitted or integrated into existing programs are more attractive and present better opportunities for entrepreneurs, ventures, and investments. This will also serve as a useful lesson for my upcoming opportunity pitch.