You found your genius and you have finally figured out how to monetize it. You are now ready to launch. But wait, not just yet. To minimize failures, John Spencer and A.J. Juliani, authors of the book Launch: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity talks about using design thinking as framework to boost the creative cycle.
Design Thinking is actually a mindset that is is a solution-based approach in solving problems. It is focused on building up creative ideas. It put importance on creating value for the people on whom you are building the product or service for rather than on the work itself. In short, it is solution-focused rather than problem-focused.
Contrary to popular belief, design thinking is not just for designers or in people in the arts. It is applicable in any field. You can use it in the corporate world, politics, engineering and education. You can even use it to motivate and guide children if you want them to grow up as active creators rather than merely consumers.
The Launch Cycle
There are many models for design thinking, but John Spencer and A.J,Juliani created a design thinking framework that although catered towards students, it is still applicable for everyone. It is simple and easy to remember.
L – Look, Listen and Learn
Before creation, people are encouraged to first observe your surroundings. Look at what products or services are being offered out there that is quite similar to what you want to offer. Listen and be aware of the current problems or issues. Empathize with the people that you want to serve. What do they need most? And then learn from other’s mistakes so that you can avoid them.
A – Ask tons of questions
Based on the observation, people are encouraged to ask as many questions as they can. It is the simplest and most effective way in learning and applying the creative process. Questions help generate better solutions to the problem at hand.
U – Understanding the process / problem
This is the phase where the research comes in. To be able to better understand the process or the problem, an in-depth study is needed. The authors defined research to include watching videos, conducting interviews, doing surveys, read articles and publications, analyzing data and doing hands-on activities. In short, gather as much data as possible and analyze them until you have completely grasp the problem.
N – Navigate ideas
This is the time to apply the acquired knowledge in the product or service that you want to create. If you are part of a team, this is the time to brainstorm ideas. Try to focus on one specific problem that you want to address and generate a new concept from there. Identify also the necessary steps and resources that you need to create your product or service.
C – Create a Prototype
Once you have completed the first four phases, you are now ready to create a prototype. This is the phase where you bring your ideas to life. It is creating a sample for your product.
H – Highlight and fix
Try, test and get feedbacks from your prototype. This phase is all about highlighting what’s working and fixing what is not. Correct all the mistakes and improve your product/service.
Once you have made the necessary revisions, you are now ready to launch. Many people fail because they jumped right up to this step right away. They have invested their resources only to find out that their project/business does not work. The launch cycle helps prevent that from happening.
Here is a scenario to illustrate the importance of the cycle. You found out that you have a passion for baking cupcakes. You want to monetize it so you decided to open a pancake shop. Unfortunately, the sales ended up not as you expected. So, you were forced to close your business after a few months’ operation. Shortly after, you heard feedback from a friend that your cupcakes are too sweet for most people. And besides, there is a cupcake shop at the next corner that sells cheaper and tastier cupcakes.
The waste of resources and the failure of the business could have been prevented if you have only used the launch cycle prior to you launching your business. If you only made samples first and ask people to get feedback from people, you could have adjusted the recipe for your cupcakes. In addition, if you have done your research, you would have known the existence of the other cupcake shop in that area. It is difficult to make the necessary adjustments if you had already formally launch because there are already so many things to consider.
Watch this video to find out more.
Feature Image by WikiImages from Pixabay.