Day 9 (6/27) Reflection

Morning at DC3—Learn about business

Old model of business: Product, place, price and promotion—four P’s of business creation

S.A.V.E—new business model

Solution (product)—What issues/needs is your business addressing/solving? What makes your product different than competition? What/who is you target market?

Access (place)—Who/how do your customers access your product? Where are they sold? How are they sold? Walk us through your sales process, how do customers engage with your products

Value (price)—what is the value of the product to your customer? What is the most important aspect to their purchase? What is your unique selling proposition?

Education (promotion)—rather than pushing products to the people, you want customers to pull products from you. How do you customers learn about your product? Where and how are you telling your product’s story?  Walk us through how you/ the business engages with the customer?

Our very very very rough pitch outline:

Welcome to Design Asylum (working title)

The design asylum is an experience for young adults looking for an open, collaborative and knowledgeable third space. You can do anything here.  We want to raise awareness between creation and consumption through various educational lessons and activities.  Our space will be located in the greater downtown area, where the majority of young adults live. (see Levon’s statement)

The DA offers a 3rd space for young creative’s and professionals. A maker space ideation lab and café, the DA offers a productive interaction point for those who make and those who don’t.

The environment offers greater accessibility to amenities such as a café, a private meeting room, group workshops, and a light maker space. This is comfortable place to hang out, socialize and learning.


Addressing a need for a third space, a productive communal more public space that would draw the uncommon makers into the maker world

It is an educational platform to raise awareness about the balance between creation and consumption

Target market: Young creative adults (21-35), but anyone is welcome, who is looking to network, socialize and enrich their knowledge.  Looking for a safe space to enjoy food, beverage, intellect, and craft.

The product is more of an experience


Through a current coffee shop/bar, a pop up, a retail space, a commercial building

The experience is sold through

Membership model—maybe discount on food/drinks

Bar/Coffee shop model—paying for things (SERVE HATORADE!)

Corporate team building exercises model + membership models + classroom trainings (workshops)

Rent out the space—blocks at time:

Speed dating for makers, investors and others


Community engagement/inspiration

Space in general, being able to rent, have you a an Design Asylum (possible name)

Has a focus on connection rather competition (RTT: collaboration over competition)


Social media

Badass website

Zine—attached in the zine, put a sample of simple work (less than $1 idea)

Infographic zine or just an infographic in general

To look into:

Possible competitors/models (third ward/world—Brooklyn) (general assembly-NYC) (the crucible—Oakland, CA) (fortress studio—Detroit) (Next Fab—Philly)

Most important element to build out?

-Community outreach portion

Should we pitch bare bones or ideal? = Break down the idea to each value we are providing to the consumer. Start at 10,000 ft, go back to street level for each value we are providing and then connect the values to the 10K feet

After learning the some quick basics about how to think about launching a business, we set out for another round of prototyping.  This time we decided we wanted to try to fail a little more, in order to figure out what works and doesn’t work.  Initially we wanted to go to one of the Starbuck in midtown, but then opted to go to the Roasting Plant downtown.

Roasting Plant experience:

  • Majority of people are coming from the local business and just grabbing a coffee and going back to the office
    • Everyone I talked with said the coffee is the best in the area (horton’s seemed to be the other choice)
    • They also liked the atmosphere of the place
      • Someone said it was “slick”
      • Not many people able to spend time to make wallets because they are going back to the office
      • At the same time there is a movie being filmed, which is a major distraciotn, but also drawing others to the area
      • Less room to sit and study than GLC.  Less quite than Astro (about same size)
      • Got two kids to come in and make wallets, but this was an outlier in our eyes because they came with their uncle who was taking them out to Coney, and a baseball game
        • This is not our focus demographic

Roasting Plant












Talk with Adrian founder of Module  

Making the jump to your own:

  • Never actually worked for someone, either contracted or his company was contracted
    • Did most of the early work with agencies
    • Jump was high school (knew what he wanted to do)—rare
    • Tried as many things as possible, early on
    • Won’t be successful for two or three years—work hard for a few years

Why do you start new things?

  • Never satisfied
  • Design things he really wants to work on
  • You have to know why you are doing it upfront
    • Understand and passionate—you need to be engaged, otherwise you wont be effective (Why comes from—do you care about this?)

Limitations (questions you should be asking when starting something) What are some lessons learned?

  • Helps to be specific
  • Start with the perspective of the outside person (who you will be putting in front of)
    • How will you grab their attention
    • Don’t commit at first, keep the boundaries as broad as possible
      • Wants the audience to respond either loving or hating it (if they are blasé about it, it missed the mark)
      • Has to make sense to the person you are talking to
        • Break down the thing into simple single sentence phrases
          • If the person can regurgitate it back, it means they are clearly communicating
          • Whatever fire you start with, you will have to continue to burn with
          • Get ideas from the outside world AND the stuff he is already working on
          • Simplify complicated phrases (think about your message in the smallest increment)
            • People do not get the whole message, they only take pieces
            • Skewmorphism (create a word, to look like something else)
            • Look at the current environment you are in
              • Can’t use the old rules and assume they will work—need to check it
                • Creative block happens because you are not asking new questions
  • Opportunity to see things differently: look outside of your values themes etc and see what else is going on

Where did you get your first start-up capital?

  • Critical to have a “bankable” skill—this will help you make money and become a successful businessman