Week 7 – progress update

This week I continued to reach out to different groups and individuals in the hope of some feedback. Andrea got back to me with some really useful insights and I’ve opened a dialogue with Gareth from Evening Class which looks likely to bear fruit in the near future.

I also managed to have a really insightful conversation with Thomas Joy – creative director of Beacon agency recently. We talked at length about their journey as a start up company, their commitment to diversity and about how they’ve managed to thrive despite Covid-19 and Brexit. It was a fruitful conversation and allowed me to cut my teeth as an interviewer which I was initially nervous of.

I hope to do more chats like this one soon.

Feedback from Andrea

I sent over a PDF last week to Andrea Zanibellato and Alec Dudson outlining my project idea & seeking some initial feedback. Alec has yet to get back to me but I know he’s a busy guy, Andrea on the other hand was really quick though and packed a lot of useful insights into his response. He has been really supportive of my idea from the beginning and I’m very glad to have him on board. Now that we’ve opened a dialogue he’s assured me that I can keep asking questions and discussing stuff which is exactly what I was hoping for.

His feedback was this:

Not everything he had to say was music to my ears but I’m really grateful for how comprehensively he’s thought about the practical limitations and costs that this project would accrue. This kind of information has been really tough to come by online but Andrea really clearly lists out what would be needed and how long it would take.

One of the major takeaways from this feedback is that I’m going to need to scale back my ambitions if this project realistically ever stands a chance of launching. I simply don’t have the money to pour into development that I’d need to make what I want but that’s fine. Andrea has really helped to put everything into perspective & I think that what I need to do now is to think about what the MVP might actually look like right now. If I can launch small and move to scale up down the line that means a lot less risk out of the gate which makes a lot of sense. I’m envisioning that a lot of the feedback I get from Thursday’s panel will be along the same lines. Now that I have an idea of what the end goal might look like I can start to think about what the route map to getting there looks like. One thing that I’ve been thinking about already is the possibility of simply emailing out a newsletter to all users with links to eventbrite pages for each online talk which would negate the need to have all of that built into the website itself.

Discussion with Evening Class

I’ve also been in conversation with a chap called Gareth from Evening Class – a london-based experimental research & education group. They’re interesting as they work in a radically unconventional way, I’d like to chat with a couple of them soon about what they do, how they work and to try and get some feedback on my own idea. Currently still in negotiations with them though, they didn’t seem too happy to give their time for free so we’re emailing back and forth trying to see whether I have any books that they might like which I could exchange for some of their time!

Presentation(s)

I’ve spent some time this week knocking my presentation together ahead of Thursday’s panel. I was pretty confident about how I wanted to lay it all out, the RSA talk I went to just before this module began has been really amazing at boosting my confidence in writing and designing a pitch deck which is what this essentially is. I’ve also created two time slots this week for peer-to-peer presentation preparation as it seems to be something that folks are quite worried about. I’m certainly no expert but I’m happy to give my time to try and offer pointers where I can. It’ll give me a chance to do a dry run of my one too anyway which is a bonus.

Things I haven’t managed to finish this week

I focused my time primarily on building my presentation this week as I knew that I would need to be a bit ahead of the pack so that I could help others to make theirs through our peer-to-peer sessions. This along with chatting to external helpers meant that my other goal of working on my literature review didn’t get done.

At this point I don’t think that I need to worry about finding much more evidence to back my position though. I’ve read a lot of papers and peer-reviewed works that deal with the area of graduate underemployment & have key texts that I’ll likely reference all saved in a word document. This means that when it comes time to pull together my argument I should be able to find what I need easily as I have them all indexed.

I still need to do further market research and business viability research with an eye to thinking about my business plan. At the moment that’s taken a back seat to other work though I know it’s coming up in the not too distant future. Next week I will look back through my previous business plan form GDE730 and reacquaint myself with the different sections it contains. From there I should be able to better understand what info I need to find for this project.

I also need to finish up the user profile mapping that I started at the beginning of the week. I did a lot of work on it one evening but haven’t gone back to finish it off. I’ve created three well rounded personas, I just need to map out their journey through the site. The reason that I haven’t done this already was because Andrea’s feedback made me stop and think about whether I need to scale everything back but I now realise that it just means I’ll probably need to make more than one of these for each stage of the businesses potential growth.

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