Pratt COMD – Business & Design, Fall 2008

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

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

You can download the Class Overview that we reviewed our first class.

You can also see some of the final concept posters from students last semester.

And now there’s a video preview too…



December 9, 2008

In class we…

  • Reviewed our initial comp business concept posters

Homework for this week:

  1. Email (or, if it’s too big, use You Send It) the final comp design of your Business Concept poster before class.
  2. You do not have to print it out!
  3. Here’s how this assignment will be graded, on a 100-point scale:
    • Concept: 30
    • Execution: 30
    • Business Model, Revenue Model, Product/Business Description/Image, and Customer Experience Storyboard: 10 each
    • Spelling and grammar errors: -5 each


December 1, 2008

In class:

  • Review our rough sketch business concept posters

Homework:

  1. A hard copy, comp design of your Business Concept poster, to the level of refinement as these examples.
  2. We will post them and discuss them in class
  3. Here’s how this assignment will be graded, on a 100-point scale:
    • Concept: 30
    • Execution: 30
    • Business Model, Revenue Model, Product/Business Description/Image, and Customer Experience Storyboard: 10 each
    • Spelling and grammar errors: -5 each


November 24, 2008

In class:

Homework:

  1. Create a sketch of your Business Concept poster following the example in class. It should be
    • at least 11 x 17 in size
    • a sketch, like you saw in class. If you put a lot of effort into doing more than a sketch but the concept sucks, you’ll just have to redo all that work. So do a sketch and put your effort into making sure the concept makes sense.
    • nice enough to be clear, but it will not be judged on beauty, just on how well the concept is thought through. We’ll make it pretty the following week.
  2. Bring a hard copy to class so you can pin it up on the wall and present it to us.


November 17, 2008

In class:

  • Workshop our revenue models

Homework:

  1. Refine your revenue models based on our work in class. Additionally, show how your profit can be four times as much as your costs. For example, if your fixed and variable costs come to $100,000, you should have profits of at least $400,000. If you need ideas for how to do this, see Tweaking Our Business Model and/or contact me.
  2. Email me your finished revenue model prior to class.


November 10, 2008

In class:

  • Play a “sweet” stock market game with our concepts, and talk about why some concepts did better than others
  • Talk about revenue models and review a sample revenue model
  • Create a revenue model for at least one of our concepts

Homework:

  1. Research the revenue and cost aspects of our concepts and create a simple revenue model following the example in the class (Excel version, PDF version)
  2. We’ll review the models in class next week.


November 3, 2008

This week we spent some time identifying key challenges in your ideas and how you would address them, with homework to refine your concepts. For those how missed the previous class we repeated that lesson so everyone is synchronized again.



October 27, 2008

In class:

  • Talk about what expert designers do differently than novice designers, e.g. they practice, a lot. And they spend more time at the beginning of a project diverging from the original idea in order to find a great solution and a solution they can solve well.
  • Take the favorite of the ten ideas you did for homework and flesh out the idea, list the key challenges, and apply a creative idea generation tool to it: brainstorming, ‘yes, and…,’ or question the brief.

Homework for next week:

  1. Take the one idea we focused on in class and continue to expand it so you have a full product concept, resolving the major challenges. When you’re done you’ll have a sketch that visualizes the idea and three paragraphs of information:
    • Include one paragraph describing the business and/or product
    • Include one paragraph describing the customers’ experience
    • Include one paragraph describing how the business and/or product makes money
    • Include a sketch that represents the most important aspect of your business idea that you would want to show an investor. If it’s a store, you might sketch the interior. If it’s a product, you would sketch the product. And so on. The sketch should have this level of fidelity:


October 20, 2008

In class:

Homework for next week:

  1. Think of a business idea you would like to work on for your final project. Your assignment is to create ten concepts of this one business idea.
    • At least two ideas must use a differentiation strategy, e.g. if you idea is to create a cafe, one differentiation strategy would be a cafe with child care
    • At least two ideas must use a niche strategy, e.g. a cafe in Florida for senior citizens
    • At least two ideas must use a cost/price strategy, e.g. a cafe that hydroponically grows its own beans to lower costs
    • At least two ideas must use a Blue Ocean strategy, e.g. an eco-friendly cafe with no paper products; customers bring their own mugs
    • You get 6 points per concept. Each concept earns 2 more points if it helps the environment. Each concept earns another 2 points if it helps people in a special, additional way (think Starbucks’ employee benefits)
    • Your idea can’t be a cafe / coffee shop
    • Each concept can be written as one sentence. But make sure each concept makes sense; if you can’t defend it you don’t get credit.


October 13, 2008

In class:

  • Look at some real, neighborhood businesses and dissect their business models
  • Critique your storyboards

Homework for next week:

  1. Revised your storyboards based on the feedback and email them to Victor (see above for the email address)


October 6, 2008

In class:

  • Look at examples of business concept booklets and posters to see how they combine the design and business aspects of a concept
  • Get back your quizzes and look at the homework
  • Review the three generic business strategies, the BCG Matrix, and the Blue Ocean strategy for a quiz next week and then apply it to your coffee shop idea
  • Watch the IDEO shopping cart video and discuss IDEO’s process.
  • Look at different storyboarding techniques

Homework for next week:

  1. Do field research to learn as much as you can about your coffee shop idea from last week. From what you learn, glean at least five strong insights that can inform your design. To learn more about field research, you can read up on “corporate anthropologists.”
  2. Make a storyboard that tells a story about the most compelling part of your coffee shop customer experience in order to get funding from an investor.

Storyboard Examples:

  1. Illustration with no text (Business Link)
  2. Process photos and CAD drawings (Crisis management and radiation testing)
  3. Mood board style (McDonalds)
  4. Single-panel story (Space Elevator)

Storyboard Resources:

  1. 22 Panels That Always Work
  2. Microsoft’s Clip Art Gallery Live
  3. Free comic characters and scenes


September 29, 2008

In class:

  • Talk about the banking collapse and draw a concept map of the system
  • Take a quiz on the reading from last week
  • Learn a business model diagram and draw some business models
  • Do some 3-minute concepts and vote on which one we like the best

Homework for next week:

  1. Read the second section (chapters 4 and 5) of What the CEO Wants You to Know by Ram Charan. Learn any terms he mentions, we’ll have a quiz on these.
  2. Draw a business model of the Ford Corporation using the template we used in class and bring in a hard copy. To refresh your memory of how to do it, see What is a Business Model? and the Business Model Template


September 15, 2008

In class:

  • Review Coffee Shop experience and give the lucky winner his/her prize
  • Talk about the article reading
  • 60-second concepts
  • Guest speaker: Steven Matt from One-World

Homework for next week:

  1. Read the first section (the first 3 chapters) of What the CEO Wants You to Know by Ram Charan. Learn any terms he mentions, like velocity and margin. We’ll have a quiz on these.
  2. A C.E.O. Sells the Store “Visiting stores, quizzing the staff, critiquing everything in sight — and most of all, meeting customers — is at the core of how Mr. Drexler runs J. Crew.”
  3. Company Building for Eight-Year Olds. If an eight-year old can do it, you can too!
  4. Wanted: VPs of Design More designers are reaching the executive ranks. But where are they getting the general business knowhow they need?


September 8, 2008

In class:

  • Introductions / class housekeeping
  • Field trip to Luigi’s

Homework for next week:

  1. Buy the book: What the CEO Wants You to Know by Ram Charan
  2. Read ALTERNATIVES: Exploring Information Appliances through Conceptual Design Proposals
  3. Play Coffee Shop
    • Play the whole game (for 14 “days”) and try to make as much money as you can.
    • When you’re done take a screen shot of the screen showing your dollar total and email it to me, or print it and bring it to the next class.
    • Whoever makes the most money wins a prize. But most importantly I want you to understand how different decisions about making coffee result in different business performance.

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