I had a unorthodox thought about “unique” value propositions I thought I’d share:
In my undergrad before pitching/critiquing new ideas for product design, we were taught an exercise to sum up the uniqueness or edge of existing designs in one or two sentences. We had to do so while imagining that we were pitching it to a stranger who knew nothing about the product. What is the promise/essence it has over something else? Sometimes, we’d go around in a circle as a group helping each other to refine the idea or definition until it was keen and sharp, then moved on to our own ideas. This helped distill these to see if they were really unique.
Oddly, the most innovative or disruptive ideas often “clashed” with the way two concepts are integrated or with how something is or used to be done. We were told to look for and create clashes because they catch attention, go against the grain, and generate interest/curiosity (particularly amongst those who long for change). This is not always a successful strategy, but in an entrepreneurial sense a really fun and creative angle to play with. Sometimes the clashes created by mixing/splicing contentious issues make powerful solutions?
I see Anne’s post about Edmodo as a great example of this: splicing social media with learning. After all, “social media is a distraction for students isn’t it? It’s entertainment which goes against “serious” education efforts doesn’t it? Well now, it’s all in how you apply technology isn’t it? Maybe social media can be used for good, let’s build something on that!” ; )
Clashes: serious vs social/ education vs entertainment/
Chris’s example of Codeacademy also illustrates this type of clash. “Coding is for adult/professionals and computer science majors isn’t it? Wait, what? It can be made accessible to everyone? Let’s build that!” (Incidentally, this is also how I see littleBits).
Clashes: open vs closed/ free vs paid/ expert vs novice/ elite vs commonplace/ training vs DIY
Anyway, I thought it might be fun to start a “clash-radio” conversation here. If anyone has any cool examples please post them! Rock on! lol : )