So after weeks and weeks of brainstorming, prototyping, market research and a lot of back and forth to the drawing board we finally have our product. We have three versions of our prototype to show to the judges on “THEE DAY” a.k.a “Dragon’s Den” and for some reason the nerves aren’t kicking yet perhaps it is a good thing because at this point we are a bit mentally drained.
( First protype)
(From right to left, second and third prototype)
The process of getting to design or rather choosing to create the final product was rather long with occasional bumps until we realised there were one thing we had overlooked the entire time. Let me explain, we started our project with the idea that we wanted to create something that people needed not necessarily ourselves but a product that would help others who are facing a certain problem. I must admit we had some pretty good ideas and it took us an afternoon off meaning no market research, no prototyping, no nothing and a late lunch to realise that we all appreciate and love our travels and we have all been robbed. Yes, there are all sorts of anti-theft gadgets on the market but we had faith that we were bringing something different to the market. We were aware of the growing trends of youth travel and we knew that this time around we were not only trying to help others but we were going to help ourselves as well.
One of our lecturers for the module made a great comment when we presented our prototype at Fab Lab a few weeks ago (Please refer to the post “Fab Lab”), I can’t remember the exact words so I will paraphrase what she said: [ do you see how when you create something that you love, you’re passionate about, you can relate to – the words just flow out of your mouth, you don’t need records card with a prepared speech to tell people why is it you think your product is good enough for them]. This time around for Dragon’s Den it’s not that it was easier but it was certainly a good thing to know the difference and to have experienced it. We did have to prepare a presentation and remember few statistics but beyond that I think it was more the passion behind our product that enabled us to give the presentation. Preparing for the Dragon’s Den’ pitch, I have to admit was the most enjoyable prep I have done in a very long time!! Who knew that using pillows to replace judges and rehears your speech was so much fun?!! I mean there were a few yawns, okay A LOT but it was worth it.
The day is finally here and we get to finally pitch our idea. Still not nervous and wondering whether or not I should be. We enter the room and get briefed with the judges. We were third to present and when came our turn, one of our teammate who doesn’t drink is asking for vodka because she’s stressed about the Q&A part now you’re thinking may be it is time to panic but no!! We held her hand and said that there are no ways we would be incapable of answering any questions regarding the product. If by any chance, we couldn’t it is okay to say that we have not looked at that specific thing they are enquiring about but we will take on board and follow up afterwards or something of the same sort. Presentation went well, we had some great feedbacks that we will all take on board. Going into the room to present, we had two USPs and 2 great add-ons for our product and among the feedback we got, they advised us to only use one unique selling point which was the location in our case of the safe. One judge asked us how much it would cost if we removed the slash-proof feature from our product and once we stated the difference in price that’s when he suggested perhaps we should consider removing that feature. I think we (as a team) love that feature so much that we are still struggling with the idea of completely removing it that we thought that we will do a trial. So we will manufacture the product without the slash-proof feature and see how what customers think of it, then ask them if they would like the feature and offer it on demand. After all groups had presented, we were joined by the other half of the judges and other fellow classmates where the lecturers and judges had some general feedback for everyone. I am ready to bet that the one advise that stuck with all of us (students) was when one judge said “Listen to the ones who do not like your product”. Ten very powerful words in my opinion though I can understand why some may think that those words are a bit of paradox. They may think – why would you listen to people who have not bought the product, they have not experienced it and technically speaking not in a better position than someone who has had some experience with the product, tell you what he does not like about the product. My take on these words is, all feedbacks are valuable regardless of who likes and who does not like the product.