David Wittenberg conducts Spark Innovation workshop at Entrepreneurship Summit, IIT-Delhi : YS Exclusive

21st Feb 2010
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In yet another exhilarating, but best described as entertaining workshop the Entrepreneurship Summit was host to Spark-Idea Generation Workshop, on 20th February 2010. The workshop was conducted by David Wittenberg. Apart from providing a valuable presentation, he was involved in theatrics and even asked the students to generate an idea out there itself. The event was conducted in the Seminar Hall at IIT-Delhi and not surprisingly, the hall was packed.

His presentation mainly focused on the value of customers in any given idea, which he easily explained through the line “Value lies in the eye of the beholder” replacing beauty in the common phrase with value, thus making it appropriately suitable for an entrepreneur. Focusing on the main things a customer needs, such as economy, convenience, entertainment, affiliation, self-actualization, productivity he moved on to the important question, about an aspirant’s job as an entrepreneur, which can aptly again be described as delivering value by making someone’s life better.

To simplify he categorized areas for successful innovation such as opportunities, customer problems and associating fitting answers for the situations, such as creating a new technology, or removing inefficiency in existing technologies.

He introduced Dramatic effect into his presentation, by remarkably pointing out engineer’s forget socio-economic aspects and by asking the ‘David Wittenberg’ question: “Who pays whom to do what?” understanding which, he believed to be at the core of many entrepreneurial solutions. Explaining answers through a grid of technical knowledge and customer knowledge, and handed the audience comprising mostly students, with case studies. His case studies focused on Snapple, and its business model.

After students worked out the model, some conclusions were evidently visible such as analyzing the keys to its success, having customer insight, purchasing preferences and distributor needs. Moreover, he emphasized Snapple was not just about accomplishing an objective, but about insight which is not an invention and doesn’t necessarily require the invention of the best technologies.

The session was immensely interactive as Wittenberg often sacrificed the stage, to be with the audience. After explaining how shifts in perspective could spark original ideas, he demonstrated it through another case study- the Value of Wacky Idea. In a group learning activity, he asked all either to voice their ideas or write them silently on paper, to voice at least 1.5 ideas per minute.

He concluded the highly interesting session where all contributed their ideas aloud, by bringing the essential topic of looking into the mirror, and seeking answers to important questions, whether society supported entrepreneurship and innovation, and thus reject traditions not accepting world as it has been, and acting according to one’s own will and not parent’s will. At the end of the event, David personally answered the questions of his newly developed fans who had gained an useful insight for being a successful entrepreneur.

 

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