Wednesday, May 11, 2011

How Does an MBA Stumble Upon Entrepreneurship?

What is design-thinking?
Design-Thinking (As I like to explain it): Align customer, or end-user unmet needs, extract the needs into insights, and translate the insights into business-targets.

My agenda in 2010 was to get hired at a company where an MBA can apply design-thinking to business problems.

November 2010
(Dinner conversation with David, Amy, and Hitesh)

Hitesh and I had come back from a week long immersion trip to Costa Rica. We experienced the local culture in Montezuma, learned Spanish, and learned Surfing. I wish we had information about certain things prior to our travel. For example; stay an extra day in Montezuma, and go to Playa Tortuga (island of tortoises), or if you taught English in Montezuma, a particular school would accommodate your stay, Spanish & Surf lessons for free.

Shalu: "I wish there was a place to take recommendations from your friends, know all the nitty-gritty details about your destination prior to your travel, and get inspired to travel to places you have not even heard of....This is how I am thinking of shaping the idea. What do you think?"

David: "I like it. There is definitely an opportunity. Make sure you have your monetization strategy figured out".

I look up to David almost as a mentor (he may, or may not be aware of it), and was happy that he gave the idea a thumbs up.

Design-thinking & Entrepreneurship
As Steve Blank often recommends, stay close to the customer. How does all this apply to my start-up? I am hoping to improve customer pain-points by creating a platform for travelers.

Conclusion in 2010
Who says I can not apply design-thinking to my own venture, and make it successful. And, thus begins the journey of entrepreneurship :)

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