When Business Strategy Floats IdeasAny entrepreneurial practice, veteran or new to the business world, must execute these three points successfully: marketing, product development and expanding market reach. Though there are solutions that include hiring a third-party developer, young bright minds of the business world are turning to focus groups comprised of their peers to help achieve the three necessary points stated.

Think tank at sea

We all know that entrepreneurs are, by nature, problem solvers, and if anyone can troubleshoot product and branding, they can. And such a think tank of bright minds was assembled for a semester at sea in which a group of entrepreneurs were sequestered on a ship sailing the oceans to discuss, brainstorm and debate solutions.

Top mentors, including a Nobel Prize Winner and an IBM VP, oversaw the group in their endeavors to solve big problems while engaging in operations for the global marketplace.

Eleven entrepreneurs were hand picked from a pool of one thousand applicants from 100 countries. In addition some 20 mentors, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, took part to oversea the bright young minds at work.

Brainstorming done right

According to Entrepreneur.com there are five points to effective business think tank methods that help improve global reach, product development and marketing.  Most entrepreneurial companies can’t afford to invest in an innovation center. However, they can apply the following principals:

  • Combine ideas. Look for intersections between ideas and their predictable merging. What you come up with may be the offspring of that which is hot in the next generation.
  • Do rapid-prototyping.
  • Think backwards. Start with an end product in mind and work your way backwards to the basic idea in a practical way looking at cost and technology specs.
  • Internal incubation fund
  • Take it online and use an invention and technology blog to promote your brand and products and to network with other industry leaders.

By following these steps you may come up with more ideas that you can deal with, but these are great ways to get the creative juices flowing.

What happened on the boat

The Semester at Sea program mentored young minds to do some of the brainstorming techniques highlighted above. For example, One Earth Designs makers of parabolic solar cookers, engaged in a rapid prototyping exercise that resulted in the redesigning of the stand that supports the product’s solar shell thus reducing cost. The product’s success was based on the ability to get manufacturing expenses down. Therefore, Cathy Rogers, one of the mentors and Vice President of global business development at IBM monitored people racing around the ship with materials in a mad effort to do a rapid prototyping execution.

Good business

Being a successful entrepreneur means that you know the market inside and out, and that you always reach to accomplish bigger and better things. The Semester at Sea program not only helped people improve their products, but helped them scale their contributions while afloat to better fit a bigger global market.