15.390 Project

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15.390 Business Course Ideas


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Good luck, everyone!

Group Meetings

Next Meeting

This weekend! One of the group study rooms in the 5th floor reading room.

  • Naomi: I'll probably be there from around 10 or 10:30am on Saturday... will bring other work, so don't worry if others can't make it then. I just might not be able to hold a room if there's only me.

  • Naomi: - I'm free all day saturday and sunday (except chapel from 11-12 on Sunday). Shouldn't have too much work this weekend, and I'm keen to get stuck in to this!
  • Christina: -I'm free all saturday and sunday
  • Adrian: Am free.
  • Ian: I'm free most of the weekend, except some of sat evening and poss sometime in the middle of sunday, but I do have some other work to do.

To do in preparation:

  • General research - see Adrian's email today
  • Get a good night's sleep :-)

Adrian's UROP adapted...


Cationic polymers for DNA delivery... sounds great!

Genetic Facebook

Basic Overview

DNA fingerprinting related online community - feel free to adapt.

General Pros
  • high tech
General Unsolvable Cons
  • Competitors
    • - surname / paternity/maternity tests, sends DNA test kit for free, customer pays when he/she gets results (15 days - 3.5 weeks for results)
    • - surnames/haplotype tests, big existing database
    • - historical / surname records, family trees, dna/pat/mat testing
Solutions to Problems
  • Differentiation
    • concentrate on local/family website - make like facebook, but connect with children, parentst, siblings, cousins
    • marriages - although this is only an incremental improvement (already shown on family trees?)
    • cooperate with
    • delivery - over the counter
    • diseases / medical conditions
    • offer other services:
      • flights + trip planning for weddings / reunions
      • organise visits to country of origin
      • oldest / youngest / closest relative application
Issues / Problems that need solutions
  • differentiation from the others we've already found!!!!
Random Ideas

Possible Adaptations:

  • Adrian's stock trading community idea
  • pets?

Female Cabbies

Basic Overview

Secure cab service for women travelling alone - female drivers

General Pros
General Unsolvable Cons
  • cab market intensely competitive
Solutions to Problems
  • competition in cab market / licensing issues
    • go high class
    • subscription service only
  • differentiation
    • cab tracking by text / online
    • record of cab use (if they want it) - access for parents?
    • food services - breakfast / coffee ordered
    • comprehensive security
      • offer emergency key copy storage service
  • low profit margin?
    • go upper class?
    • many different levels of membership depending on needs?
Issues / Problems that need solutions
  • competing in cities with good mass transport systems?
  • setting up good customer base (we will probably be relying on subscription - ie cannot pick ppl up from curb)
Random Ideas
  • use 0800 numbers / reverse charge calls

Vending Machine Related

Basic Overview
General Pros
General Unsolvable Cons
Solutions to Problems
Issues / Problems that need solutions
Random Ideas



Questions for Brian

  • Evaluation criteria / marks for the course
    • In terms of what we want to know (but NOT actual wording):
      • How does the quality of the idea itself impact marks?
      • On the issue of realism: How much wiggle room concerning team match? Concerning technology / defensibility (i.e. does "we will develop a proprietory technology..." fly?) Concerning IP owned by others?
      • How will the previous experience and better starting position of post-grads and MBAs affect our assessment? Will it be considered that we're undergrads, e.g. allowing some more room in choosing the product and business model?
  • More specifically, advice on trade-offs concerning entry barriers
    • low entry barriers -> good team match but poor defensibility; can still be a viable business
    • high & defendable entry barriers -> we don't actually have that level of technical expertise; could still develop a great business model based on what we've learned in the class, but would need assurance that this (i.e. going ahead knowing that the team is not quite ready for what we're proposing) is okay.
  • Make it clear that both the learning opportunity and top marks are important to us and ask for him to take both into consideration in his answers. We need his input, essentially, for a strategy to do well in that class.
  • Try to get some feedback on our specific ideas (while keeping the caveat here in mind -- we shouldn't appear lost, make sure we make confident statements and then watch his reactions, rather than asking tons of open questions or complaining).

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