Lecture 1: Ideation

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This lecture was delivered to undergraduates at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering for the course on How to Form New Ventures in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

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Lecture 1: Ideation

  1. 1. Duke ECE 490L: How to Start New Ventures in Electrical and Computer Engineering Poornima Vijayashanker poornima@femgineer.com Jeff Glass jeff.glass@duke.edu Akshay Raut ar118@duke.edu 1
  2. 2. Introduction • Story of how this course came to be! • Pratt ’04 - ECE/CS • R&D Engineer @ Synopsys • Founding Engineer @ Mint.com • Founder & CEO @ BizeeBee • Founder of Femgineer.com 2
  3. 3. Agenda • Syllabus for this course • Goals • Unlisted goals • Today’s lecture: Ideation Duke ECE 490L 3
  4. 4. Syllabus • Lecture - Class Participation • Readings - Quizzes • Labs • Final project • Office hours: TTh 3-4pm CIEMAS 3431 & 3591 • e-mail listserv: duke-ece-490l@googlegroups.com • Texts: Lean Analytics Duke ECE 490L 4
  5. 5. Goals • Goals • Commercialize your idea • Understand market research • Customer discovery and development • Dynamics of teamwork • Explore financial models and fundraising • Unlisted Goals • Participate in the Duke Startup Challenge Duke ECE 490L 5
  6. 6. Resources 6
  7. 7. Advantage of being an engineer. Duke ECE 490L 7
  8. 8. Ideation. Duke ECE 490L 8
  9. 9. Resist the urge to build. Duke ECE 490L 9
  10. 10. Romantic period. Duke ECE 490L 10
  11. 11. “Value in a startup is validating learning not creation of stuff.” - Eric Ries, Lean Startup Duke ECE 490L 11
  12. 12. 1. Come up with a hypothesis. 2. Figure out what you want to measure 3. Run an experiment. 4. Measure results from experiment. 5. Learn. 6. Move on to next hypothesis. Duke ECE 490L 12
  13. 13. Uncertainty. Duke ECE 490L 13
  14. 14. Limited resources. Duke ECE 490L 14
  15. 15. Learning ReleasingBuilding Balancing act. Duke ECE 490L 15
  16. 16. Can apply to ANY business. Duke ECE 490L 16
  17. 17. Let’s get started! Duke ECE 490L 17
  18. 18. Purpose of this class is to help Goldilocks... Duke ECE 490L 18
  19. 19. No idea! Too many ideas! Is this the right idea?! Duke ECE 490L 19
  20. 20. Where do ideas come from? Duke ECE 490L 20
  21. 21. Creative Minds. Duke ECE 490L 21
  22. 22. The idea fairy. Past experiencesPassions Pains Reading Conversations Interests Hobbies Digesting Duke ECE 490L 22
  23. 23. Don’t jump into building... Duke ECE 490L 23
  24. 24. Ideation Philosophy • Don’t fear thought crime! • Put a team together • Make a list of people to reach out to: mentors, potential teammates, experts, influencers. • Don’t fall in love with an idea! • Fall in love with the process of generating and executing on ideas. • Realize that ideas evolve. Duke ECE 490L 24
  25. 25. More on Thought Crime • Get another company to steal your idea. • Tell them your idea! • Execution is key. • Eventually someone will steal your idea if it is good. • Market leader. Duke ECE 490L 25
  26. 26. Two Paths Invention understand advances & limitations in technology & create a commercially viable product e.g. transistors v. vacuum tube key to modern day electronics, incandescent light bulb vs. candle and heating oil Re-Invention improve upon an existing product e.g. Mint - Quicken e.g. Tesla - Hybrid come up with a new take on an old concept e.g. Twitter - telegram, sms Duke ECE 490L 26
  27. 27. Invention • List new forms of technology that interest you • Understand the limitations • Potential application • Existing technology • Why is this so popular? • What are its limitations? • New forms of technology • How does it outperform existing technology? Saves money/time, takes up less space, more reliable, longer life, higher quality. • What is limiting it from becoming popular? Regulations, additional R&D, additional infrastructure, change in behavior? Duke ECE 490L 27
  28. 28. Re-Invention • List 5 things you have thought of improving. • Who faces these pains? • Have they tried to solve the pain themselves or are there solutions that solve these pains? • For each existing solution list why it rocks and why it sucks. • What are some related pains? Duke ECE 490L 28
  29. 29. Techniques. Duke ECE 490L 29
  30. 30. Duke ECE 490L 30
  31. 31. Mind Mapping • Visual outline of information • Ground rules • 1-2 hours per session with breaks. • Don’t discount of judge any ideas! • Take your time & don’t rush. • Capture all ideas and connections. • MindMeister Supplemental Reading: Mind Mapping Guidelines 31
  32. 32. Example of a Mind Map Blog Education Consulting Online Offline Entrepreneurship Engineering Business Engineering Brainstorming various directions to take the business mind map Co-WorkingTwitter Build prototypesMarketing Analytics Spotlighting women Startups Duke ECE 490L 32
  33. 33. Review • Ideation • Invention & Re-Invention • Thought Crime • Techniques - Mind Mapping Duke ECE 490L 33

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