PS1 & SSH present: Business Planning for Hackers, Creatives, and Other Out of the Box Types
Facilitated by A. Catherine Noon of Writer Zen Garden.
Taking an idea from concept to execution poses unique challenges. One way is to just do it, throwing enough mud at the wall that eventually some will stick. This is time-intensive and may not yield much more than a mud-covered wall.
There’s a better way. Businesses have been around since the time of Babylon; why not experiment with some tools that have made others successful? A business plan can yield benefits not just from the process of clarifying your goals but as a funding tool. If you can crystallize your passion onto the page then chances are, you’ll have a shot at inspiring others as well.
After all, mud on a wall is mud on a wall.
Over twelve weeks, we will explore our own ideas using tools from right-brained artistic games to classic business school (like SWOT and budgets). You will need a copy of the book, The Creative Entrepreneur: A DIY Visual Guidebook for Making Business Ideas Real by Lisa Sonora Beam, available from Amazon, the Chicago Public Library, and other booksellers.
You will also need a blank journal book, at least 8.5” x 11”. I like the Strathmore 400 Series journals, available from retailers or Mister Art.com; their 12” x 9” is my favorite.
These will be held alternating Thursdays at Pumping Station: One (PS:1) and Southside Hackerspace Chicago (SSH:C). Addresses and links are below the schedule.
Our first four sessions have been well attended and productive. We work in a collaborative fashion, alternating between roundtable discussion and work/play time on our individual projects.
If you’re curious about the process or want to get clear about your own ideas for a business, please check us out.
Week 1: What To Hack… (Thursday, 06/05/2014, 7:00 – 9:00 P.M. @ PS:1)
- Topics: Intro, Why Plan?
- Exercise: Mandala 1 & 2
Week 2: Exercise: Mandalagain (Thursday, 06/12/2014, 7:00 – 9:00 P.M. @ SSH:C)
Week 3: Discussion (Thursday, 06/19/2014, 7:00 – 9:00 P.M. @ PS:1)
- Discussion: Completed Mandala share. Synthesize, answer questions in group. Guides.
Week 4: Exercise: Map Your Brain (Thursday, 06/26/2014, 7:00 – 9:00 P.M. @ SSH:C)
Exercise: Left Brain/Right Brain Map.
Week 5: Exercise: Map Your Modes and Remedies (Thursday, 07/03/2014, 7:00 – 9:00 P.M. @ PS:1)
- Topics: Modes, Part I: Modes of Functioning: Sensing, Thinking, Feeling, Acting. Constructive & Destructive.
- Exercise: Mapping Your Modes. Mapping Your Remedies.
Week 6: Exercise: Recipe Cards (Thursday, 07/10/2014, 7:00 – 9:00 P.M. @ SSH:C)
- Topics: Modes, Part II: Recipe Cards – Mastering Your Modes; Self-Inquiry Portraits
- Exercise: Recipe Cards
Week 7: Exercise: SWAT THE SWOT (Thursday, 07/17/2014, 7:00 – 9:00 P.M. @ PS:1)
- Topics: The Art of Strategy: SWOT
- Exercise: Create a SWOT; Research Punch List
Week 8: Exercise/Discussion: Be SMART! (Thursday, 07/24/2014, 7:00 – 9:00 P.M. @ SSH:C)
- Topics: Be SMART – Objectives, Strategies, and Tactics.
- Exercise: Prioritized Task Lists, Not To-Do List. Group Exercise – Synergy
- Discussion: Brainstorm Objectives, Strategies and Tactics.
Week 9: Exercise: Envision it! (Thursday, 07/31/2014, 7:00 – 9:00 P.M. @ PS:1)
- Topics: SMART Framework
- Exercise: Vision Cards – Personal Strategic Plan
Week 10: Exercise: Promote it! (Thursday, 08/07/2014, 7:00 – 9:00 P.M. @ SSH:C)
Topics: Promotion, Part I: Define Target Audience
- Exercise: Customer Persona Collage, Competitive Analysis
Week 11: Branding (Thursday, 08/14/2014 @ PS:1)
- Topics: Promotion, Part II: Customer Needs; Features vs. Benefits; Branding Basics
Week 12: Exercise/Discussion: Make It and Break It (Out)! (Thursday, 08/21/2014, 7:00 – 9:00 P.M. @ SSH:C)
- Topics: Promotional Tactics
- Exercise: DIY Mini-Journal & Greeting Card Cover
- Discussion: Wrap – Roundtable – Share Completed Plans
Pumping Station: One
3519 N. Elston
Chicago, IL 60618
Southside Hackerspace Chicago
2233 South Throop St, Unit 214
Chicago, IL 60608