The Self, The Work and The Process

Lessons Learned from the $1K Challenge

We’re in the final weeks of Entrepreneurial Design 2018, and with the $1,000 Challenge now complete, the learning can now begin.

From Tony Chu’s Fail in Public, 2012

To kickoff that process, Christina and I have taken the students through a process of review and reflection in-class. To complete the synthesis, we’ve prompted them to blog their lessons learned.

We do this for a few reasons:

  1. You never know what you’ve learned until you’re forced to articulate it in writing.
  2. Cohorts not only provide support, but they afford a unique opportunity to learn from and with each other. The act of sharing their lessons publicly is way to honor that.

Luckily, we all get to benefit from that, too, and I believe you’ll find the students takeaways below to be thoughtful, insightful and quite varied, demonstrating both the range of projects, perspectives and experiences.

For readability, I’ve somewhat arbitrarily organized them into themes—The Self, The Work, and The Process . I encourage you to click on the titles and read the full posts, which are much more expansive than the pull quote.

The Self

And that vulnerability is terrifying, but it’s also universally recognizable. That is the most powerful thing about sharing the unfinished, about being open and raw with the world, is that others can recognize themselves in you.

Breaking the Golden Record by Rachel Balma

…it helped me to do all of the above and realize that our networks and our fellow designers — the company we keep — shapes who we are and helps us to grow.

The Company We Keep: A Kickstarter Journey by Crystal Wang

Sharing your work in public is scary, but it is an essential step to build trust and credibility within your own network.

Lessons Learned From Successfully Running a Kickstarter Campaign by Margarita Yong

It is definitely out of my comfort zone. However, friends, families, and people have truly surprised me.

Asking for help empowers you by Jennifer Wei

This was a wild rollercoaster of anxiety throughout the entire process, but very rewarding and taught me lots about how to make noise about our passions and drive an idea into the world.

What I Learned from Kickstarter by Mia Darling

Your character will speak for itself you don’t have build a “personal brand”. Your work and your character will speak for itself.

via Twitter Thread (11/14) by Jason Branch

The Work

I don’t know what role design and technology can play in solving the problems I care about, and whether they even should.

Learn/Unlearn by Kate Styer

The successful project is one which the world gets to see, the designer keeps iterating on and remains a constructive work in progress for as long as the idea keeps getting better.

Lessons on ‘First Created’ for Kickstarter by Kinza Kasher

In fact, the process of finding the correlation and realizing the original cause is the process of healing themselves. Once they realized the reason, they can let go their pain somehow.

Reflection on my Kickstarter project by Yumeng Ji

Am I just complaining about the current education system, or public shaming a culture or country? The “problems” I’m trying to uncover is not something Chinese feel comfortable with knowing.

Update 1: Shutter — A New Beginning · Shutter, Part 1: Ten conversations on Chinese Art Education by Ke Hu

The Process

Ask for feedback, but most importantly know when [it] is time to use the feedback and when [it] is time to trash it.

This is just the beginning… by Paula Daneze

…you need not always polish your offering to bring it out to people, it is OK to bring the idea out in its inception stage and keep improving upon it as you move along.

My understanding of KICKSTARTER by Abhinav Sircar

When you send something good to the world, it will come back in the most lovely form of surprise. So be kind to others and always choose to pay it forward.

I got kickstarted and here’s what I learned by Angie Ngoc Tran

Stay within your target audience (somewhat) to get the appropriate feedback. You don’t need to please everyone.

What I learned from launching Reflect, a guided journaling club by Andrea Kang

I will post my design work regularly on social media…Also, I need to invest time and energy to accumulate my community slowly.

What I learn from my Kickstarter project by Xiaoxi Yuan

I learned that you have to be very scrappy and relentless in your outreach, almost to the point of annoyance which I am sure was the case for some of the people I continuously sent reminders to.

Lessons Learned from My 1st Kickstarter by Addi Hou