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Lecture 2: Techniques for Brainstorming and Building Teams
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Lecture 2: Techniques for Brainstorming and Building Teams

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

This lecture was delivered to the students at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering for the course How to Form New Ventures in Electrical and Computer Engineering. The lecture focuses on providing students with brainstorming and team building techniques.

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  • 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. Review • Ideation • Invention & Re-Invention • Thought Crime • Techniques - Mind Mapping Duke ECE 490L 2
  • 3. Announcements • Everyone on the listserv? duke-ece-490l@googlegroups.com • Everyone on Balsamiq? Duke ECE 490L 3
  • 4. Resources 4
  • 5. Agenda • Creativity • Brainstorming • Team Building Duke ECE 490L 5
  • 6. What is creativity? Duke ECE 490L 6
  • 7. “Creativity is the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. Creativity involves two processes: thinking, then producing. Innovation is the production or implementation of an idea. If you have ideas, but don’t act on them, you are imaginative but not creative.” — Linda Naiman Duke ECE 490L 7
  • 8. Is there a process? Duke ECE 490L 8
  • 9. Thinking, then producing. Duke ECE 490L 9
  • 10. Imaginative, but not creative. Duke ECE 490L 10
  • 11. Resist the urge to build. Duke ECE 490L 11
  • 12. Romantic period. Duke ECE 490L 12
  • 13. Ingredients for creativity. Duke ECE 490L 13
  • 14. 1. Rules & regulations. Duke ECE 490L 14
  • 15. 2. Explore. Duke ECE 490L 15
  • 16. 3. Let go. Duke ECE 490L 16
  • 17. Start small. Duke ECE 490L 17
  • 18. Think about one problem. Duke ECE 490L 18
  • 19. Put the product before the company. Duke ECE 490L 19
  • 20. Legal structure is for protection. Duke ECE 490L 20
  • 21. You still need an idea. Duke ECE 490L 21
  • 22. But not legally. Duke ECE 490L 22
  • 23. Square. Duke ECE 490L 23
  • 24. Simple Re-Inventions • Illumoscope - Raleigh, NC • Micro Phone Lens - Seattle, WA • Hex: A copter than anyone can fly! Duke ECE 490L 24
  • 25. Your idea is good but it can be better. Duke ECE 490L 25
  • 26. Duke ECE 490L 26
  • 27. Duke ECE 490L Some knowledge and skills. 27
  • 28. Duke ECE 490L Know what you know. 28
  • 29. Duke ECE 490L Recruit for the rest. 29
  • 30. Duke ECE 490L Begin with brainstorming. 30
  • 31. Duke ECE 490L Brainstorming is not about feasibility. 31
  • 32. Duke ECE 490L Brainstorming is not about productization. 32
  • 33. Duke ECE 490L Brainstorming is about imagination. 33
  • 34. Duke ECE 490L Brainstorming is about vision. 34
  • 35. Brainstorming • Work on ideas individually first! • Brainstorm with a team. • Setup ground rules: • Pick a time everyone is available • 1-2 hours per session with breaks • Don’t discount or judge any ideas! • 1 person at a time has the floor. • Take your time & don’t rush. • Capture all ideas & connections - be sure to record everything! Duke ECE 490L 35
  • 36. Benefits of Brainstorming • Gauge the following from participants • Level of interest • Quality of contributions • Chemistry and camaraderie Duke ECE 490L Supplemental Reading: 5 Powerful Ways to Brainstorm with Teams, An Outsider’s Outlook: Bringing in People to Brainstorm for Your Startup 36
  • 37. Duke ECE 490L Alone v. Team 37
  • 38. Duke ECE 490L MONEY INTELLIGENCE vs. mint 38
  • 39. Duke ECE 490L • Identify your skills and look for complementary skills. • Don’t do a sales pitch. Instead get people involved in the process e.g. brainstorming. • Be wary of those who come after you. • Conversation topics to cover: • Bad experiences you both might have had in the past. • Setup a clear standard for communicating both the positive and negative. • Make sure there is alignment when it comes to values and the direction of the company and product. Co-Founders Supplemental Reading: Conversations Potential Co-Founders Should Have 39
  • 40. Duke ECE 490L Right time to recruit. Supplemental Reading: How to Keep Your Startup Engineer Sane, Recruiting for a Startup? First Figure Out Who & What You Want. 40
  • 41. Duke ECE 490L Vision vs. Implementation 41
  • 42. Duke ECE 490L Communicate your vision clearly. 42
  • 43. Duke ECE 490L • Roles • Entrepreneur: motivates and keeps team focused. • Innovator: has novel technology or idea. • Technologist: bridges gap between technology and business. • Investor: is the backer and helps scale the business (product -> company). • Abilities vs. Capabilities • What skill set do you absolutely need? • Allocation time to train and understand direction • Micromanaging vs. Delegating • Polling vs. check-ins • Test: can focus on just your role and contributions? Team Building 43
  • 44. Duke ECE 490L • Outsourced or Part-Time Team • Set a budget • Set clear deliverables • Hire those that demonstrate self-leadership • Start with sample projects Part Time or Outsourced Team Supplemental Reading: How to Make Progress with Part Timers, Optimizing Outsourcing 44
  • 45. Dissolve a Partnership • What is the stake they leave with? • Who controls the assets? • Bringing someone new in. Duke ECE 490L 45
  • 46. Let an Employee Go • What is the stake they leave with? • Transition vs abrupt departure. • Finding a replacement. Duke ECE 490L 46
  • 47. Duke ECE 490L Your idea, product, and company will live on! 47
  • 48. Duke ECE 490L What about in this class? 48
  • 49. Duke ECE 490L What if we cannot agree on an idea? 49
  • 50. Duke ECE 490L What if we need to dissolve a team? 50
  • 51. Duke ECE 490L Remember this is your sandbox. 51
  • 52. Review • Creativity • Brainstorming • Team Building Duke ECE 490L 52