Pratt COMD – Business & Design, Fall 2007

Victor Lombardi
Feel free to contact me with questions or comments…

  • email: victor (at) victorlombardi.com
  • AIM: vittoriolombardi
  • mobile: 347.249.9470

Learning Objectives: This class helps you understand the fundamentals of business to improve your effectiveness as a designer. You will learn:

  1. how companies work and how to see business challenges from your clients’ perspective
  2. how to create designs that are appropriate to particular business challenges
  3. how to combine your creative skills with analytical skills to design features of a business, not just graphic designs

Grading

  • 80% Tests and Assignments. Most assignment grades are pass/fail; you pass if you hand it in and did a sufficient job (like Woody Allen said, 80% of life is just showing up). The other assignments are graded. Trick is, you don’t know which assignments are pass/fail and which are graded, so it’s best to rock them all.
  • 10% Attendance. I used to not care if people came to class, but if you’re not here the conversation suffers, and good conversation is key.
  • 10% Class Effort.


Dec 10: LAST CLASS! Pizza, Cupcakes, and Elevator Speeches



Dec 3: Elevator Speeches

In class:

Homework:

  1. We’ll pretend that you haven’t done a proposal, but meet Lou Rosenfeld in an elevator and pitch him on a design project idea (the same one from your proposal).
  2. Write a maximum 130-word elevator speech. When you read it aloud, it should not last longer than 30 seconds.
  3. Your speech must include:
    • An introduction with your name and the name of your business
    • A “hook”
    • A summary of your proposal
    • A request


Nov 26: Working Through Your Proposal

In class:

  • We’ll whiteboard each of our ideas for the proposal, working together to improve them.

Homework:

  1. Finish writing your proposal and hand it in next week. They will be graded as follows: 80% for the content, 10% for the writing quality; and 10% for the layout and design of the document.


Nov 19: Crafting a Proposal

In class:

Read:

Homework:

  1. Next time in class we’ll whiteboard each of our ideas for the proposal, working together to improve them. Come prepared to talk about your main ideas.


Class 5, Oct 1: Meeting the Client

In class:

  • Meet our client and talk to him about his business, identifying points where he’s having problems

Homework:

  1. Email me the one problem our client has (even if he doesn’t know it) that you would like to focus on. You don’t need to say anything about the solution yet.
  2. Read about Business Concept Illustration (.pdf)
  3. Read about Idealized Design
  4. Create a solution to the problem you chose. Remember the skills available to you: secondary research, primary research, brainstorming, etc., as well as the two articles above. If you want to collaborate with someone else in class on one solution then go right ahead (especially if you missed class).
  5. Express your solution as a sketched storyboard. Use the storyboard as a tool to describe your solution, answering questions like What’s happening now? What new people, places, or things will enter the story? How does Lou work differently in the future? And so on. By sketch I mean quick. Don’t worry about how nice it looks, focus on the story.

Class 4, Sept 24: Product Development Process

In class:

  • Go over answers to quiz #1
  • Take quiz #2
  • Watch the IDEO Shopping Cart Video and dissect their process

Homework:

  1. Do some secondary research — either at the library or on the Internet — to get at least one big insight into your pizza business. For example, if you’re imagining building a giant restaurant, you’ll need money to pay for it. So you might research who is funding big, innovative new restaurants, especially in Brooklyn/New York.
  2. After you’ve done your research, do some sketches that visually represent your pizza business idea. You might sketch a conceptual model, the interior of the restaurant, the logo, how the customers will interact there differently, etc. Try to communicate the key points of the business through sketches so that someone who only saw them would be able to figure out what the business was.

Class 3, Sept 17: Customer Satisfaction & Customer Research

In class:

  • Discuss what we learned from playing the Disaffected! Game
  • Go outside and conduct field research on Luigi’s
  • Review what you observed and use it to generate new business ideas

Homework:

  1. Imagine you are starting a pizzeria right across the street from Luigi’s. What would you do to make it a success? Describe it in one paragraph, and be sure to include which Generic Strategy your imaginary business follows. Hint: you may get good ideas from doing more field research, or by researching novel business ideas.
  2. Read
    • What the CEO Wants You To Know, Part III (Chapters 6, 7, and 8)

Class 2, Sept 10: Learning Business Fundamentals

Learning objectives: Learn business fundamentals and the relationship between costs, revenues, profit, and customer satisfaction

In class:

  • Discuss what we learned from playing the Lemonade Game
  • Learn about business fundamentals and the Triple Bottom Line
  • Take a quiz

Homework:

  1. Play Disaffected! until you understand how the game works.
    • Take a screen shot when you’re done and email it to me.
    • Consider what is the single biggest lesson you’ve learned from it. How does that change how you would start a business?
  2. Read

Class 1, Aug 27: Introduction to Business Ideas

In class:

  • Introduction to the course
  • Look at new business ideas and n-gen
  • Visit some local business and analyze how they work

Homework:

  1. Play The Lemonade Game
    • Try to make as much money as you can while achieving high customer satisfaction and popularity scores.
    • If you make a lot of money, great, but you won’t be graded on this. I want you to simply play until you understand how different decisions about making lemonade results in different business performance.
    • When you’re done take a screen shot of the End of Day Reports screen and email it to me, or print it and bring it to the next class.
  2. Read