Class: Made in China
Assignment & Journal (Week 3): Project Proposal Presentation Reflection
My original idea was to redesign an ice cube tray so I planned to focus on the shortcomings of the current products for the presentation. However, I came up with a new idea when I woke up that morning, which was a dish warmer with smartphone connectivity for controls. I quickly did some product comparisons on Amazon and included it in my presentation as well. I also redefined my business opportunity to be smarter and fancier kitchenware that targeted consumers with higher disposable income, as supported by the Allied Market Research.
To my surprise, most people found the ice cube tray idea more appealing. Some of my classmates suggested that they could use the oven to warm the dishes instead as it was very common in the US. Professor Christian also quoted the case of Juicero, which was a failed kickstarter company, to illustrate why I would want the design to be as simple as possible but not too much unnecessary functions. I believed they were right since I did not seriously consider how consumers deal with this problem using simpler methods. I might not learn this information from the web, but it would be helpful if I had talked to any of my American friends before this presentation. It was important to ensure the opportunity actually existed.
Unfortunately, someone also pointed out that there were already some solutions to the ice cube tray, such as plastic ice-cube making bags. Nonetheless, I still believed they were not common in Asia or in China and the market for a simpler ice cube tray still existed. I was also suggested to add some features to the ice cube tray, such as a temperature sensor to forecast when the ice would be made, or work on other poorly-designed kitchen appliances. Furthermore, after listening to others’ presentations, I had realized that it was hard for me to come up with an appealing design idea because I was thinking to invent something new that no one had thought about it before. It might be easier if I could just make some modifications to some existing products or build on them. I would probably use this approach to brainstorm more ideas for the rest of the week.