On 24th of September 2014 a group of enthusiastic entrepreneurs participated in a lesson which focused on customer understanding and service-centric business. InnoEspoo organized the event which was a first part of “Osaamista ja oivalluksia” (Know-how and inspiration) entrepreneur -coaching events.
The keynote speaker was Katri Ojasalo who works as Director of Master level education at Laurea University of Applied Sciences (UAS). In my opinion she can be called as a service design guru. Ojasalo has gathered a lot of knowledge and experience about service business via studies and projects during the past 20 years. Ojasalo presented the basics of service design. You might have heard about Bain & Company Survey i.e. 80% of the companies believed they delivered a superior experience to their customer. But only 8 % of their customers agreed. The survey was made in 2005 but it is still relevant.
Jani Jylhä from the company Green Drivers presented how they have managed to make this gap, between service providers´ believes and customer opinions, smaller. Their secrets were to understand customers´ needs and usage of service design in a business concept development process.
Learning by doing
In a workshop part hosted by principal lecturer from Laurea UAS Leena Alakoski, participants worked with customer personas, customer journey and Lean Business Model Canvas. At the end of the session every group shared their results.
I interviewed few entrepreneurs about their customer relationships.
“Today my feeling just got stronger that I am on the right track. I just have to find even more ways to contact and involve customers to my business. It is really rewarding when you get good feedback from a happy and satisfied customer”, says Pakarinen.
Outi Pakarinen/ Kude Design http://www.kude.fi
Outi Pakarinen owns and runs a company called Kude Design. Kude Design offers cloth coaching and Kude is also a clothing brand. Pakarinen has worked many years in clothing and textile industry.
“With the help of my work experience I gathered a great deal of customer understanding before I established Kude Design. I made benchmarking and researched future trends about customer behaviour. I also got to know different industries and found that way something new for my business. I would say I got the whole business idea from the customers. We make products based on a real need. I use a designing by listening –method when designing new clothes. We do not make products if there is no demand from the customer side. I want to have an impulse from the customers so they can e.g. decide which colours they prefer to be in Kude collections.I communicate and gather customer insights through my website and Facebook page. I meet lot of people at the fairs. I am also very active in B-to-B networking”.
Innovation is all about making a difference in people life‘s, and it starts with an idea.
This idea needs to resonate with customer needs, create the appropriate market attraction, find the right value network to grow, justify its financial costs and last but not least have a potential return on the investment.
For that many aspects about innovative ideas need to be understood, starting with the person who take the idea from being an abstract idea to be a reality (AKA the entrepreneur) and what qualities he / she should have. What innovation means, and how it can create a real value for all of its stakeholders. What is the industry context we are going to work in and what are the market forces that we need to take for. How we are going to build a sustainable business model to support growing our dreams and business. Last but not least, how we are going to find a real market needs and get the appropriate customer understanding.
All these and more were the topics within this interesting course “Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies” which was named #1 Entrepreneurship Course on Coursera by CourseTalk’s “Top Rated” MOOCs.
This blog post is an attempt to go through the course material in a moderate way and provide the key insights and knowledge that you can take with you within your entrepreneurial journey! So I hope you find it useful.
Sustainable healthy life is basic human necessity. We all want to live healthy, stay health and to be healthy.
Healthcare is one of the aspects that can help us achieve the healthy living we look for as civilized modern citizens. We all imagine a healthcare system that is accessible, affordable, efficient with less human errors, less medication errors, better treatment / diagnostic methods and better ways of personalizing the whole healthcare experience for us as individuals.
That been said, the reality differ from the expectations! The healthcare systems today has many challenges that may seem paralyzing and very hard to overcome, but from an innovators point of view we need to see the elephant in the room, we need to see the opportunity for innovation in healthcare from the lens of these challenges, as always, the bigger the challenge, the bigger the return will be!
The Healthcare Innovation and Entrepreneurship Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) aim to assist individuals and/or small teams in the identification, development, and promotion of products, processes, and procedures that address the healthcare system needs, by providing a framework for innovation and entrepreneurship in healthcare.