After arriving at a full prototype of the Serendipitous Business Model Generator, I held a series of user-studies amongst other students in the Wind Tunnel. While Media Designers are not necessarily my target audience for this project, I wanted to get the ideas out there and see what could be made from this system.
After providing instructions on how to use the SBMG, I provided each of the participants with a template for writing a business plan. Together, we would walk through each section of the plan to play out the following:
- Company Name
- Executive Summary
- Products / Services
- Market Strategy
The results of the generator were fascinating. From video game hospitals to cyborg apartments, the cards were successful in generating serendipitous business that was outside the realm of expertise that the participants each brought to the table. See below a selection of the generated businesses plans (please click on the images for high-resolution):
One concept, and the reasoning behind requesting the participants’ email address, is to create an artifact from the created company as a take-away for the participant – perhaps a business card. I am still thinking about what might be a successful, physical, takeaway for the Fictional Entrepreneurs that take part in the exercise.
Based on these studies, I have decided to eliminate the competitive aspect of the system, thus refraining from referring to SBMG as a “game.” Instead, I will focus my language on “generator.” After reflecting upon the results of the workshop, I found that, while the results were interesting, they were not going far beyond concepts that could exist as true opportunities. I realized that this issue was a result of my “HORIZON ELEMENT / OPPORTUNITY” deck. The content of this particular deck consists of opportunities that already exist (i.e. Augmented Reality, Gestural Interaction, etc.). Perhaps, to get more interesting results, the opportunity deck’s content should be re-considered, allowing for horizon elements / opportunities that do not yet exist (i.e. reverse entropy, and other instances of collapse or bizarre transformation).
I have one more scheduled user-study tomorrow with an entrepreneur, Kelvin Ho, of MyOwnBusiness, the leading online resource for business education. I am excited to see how the results compare or contrast to the work of the fellow designers, and will use the discoveries that result as continued points of evaluation for moving the project forward.