Wrapping Up Genius Hour…

We’ll be wrapping up Genius Hour in about 3 weeks with PitchFest.  

PitchFest is our first (hopefully annual) contest where you pitch your idea, product, organization, or creation to the world.  Rules will be posted shortly.

Over the next three weeks, you will wrap up your project for the purposes of our class, even if it’s not done. It is my hope that you will continue to work with this project until it is done, however. Whether you’re done soon or still working, you have learned some big-time real-world skills:

You have developed major entrepreneurial skills. You’ve: 

  • Identified a need in society. Identifying opportunities and needs in the market or the world is an entrepreneurial skill.
  • Taken that idea and moved it forward. Some of you are even walking away with an MVP. An MVP is a “minimum viable product.” This is your first draft in entrepreneurial terms. You’ll take that and make it even better.
  • Asked other teams and people for feedback. That’s called market research.
  • Taken the results of the feedback and changed your ideas and products. This is called a pivot.
  • Designed and done preliminary pitches to see what it felt like to sell your ideas and/or products to the world.
  • Swapped out teammates. This is real-world stuff. Sometimes, when you’re not a good fit for a team or idea, you move on and start something new. Recognizing when it’s time to part ways is an advanced skill. Doing it nicely with respect–even more advanced.
  • Asked other teams for help. So, you need an artist, a designer, a writer, someone with a fresh idea? I’ve seen you helping each other. This is real-world stuff. Sometimes, people get paid for this–it’s called consulting. Sometimes you do it for others because it’s been done for you. That’s called helping. Helping’s nice.
  • Networked and built your base of people around you. I see some groups really getting out there into the world, meeting professionals and people that will not only help with this project, but will help in real life. Some of you are making contacts, calling people, asking old teachers and principals, “What do you think?” and even getting out in the world promoting your passions.
  • Created physical products. I see books, apps, platforms, and posters emerging. Remember, if your product is too big to do now, save it in your “someday” file. Bite off what you can chew now.
  • Begun to study and master the art of public speaking. Most people hate this and refuse to do it. When you do it, even if you’re not comfortable, you’re miles ahead of your competition.

This is amazing, and I’m proud of each and every one of you. You have overcome obstacles to advance your causes, and learned in the process.

Everything we’ve done in this project has connected to current events–you’re working with your passions that are in the limelight every day–everything from animal rights, bullying, healthcare, family issues, fundraising, thinking about bettering the economy, filling consumer needs in society–I’ve seen a range, that all connect to our themes. Keep it up!

But… everything we’ve done also connects to your shops and technical areas. Most of the passions and needs you identified solidly connect to your shops–this is no coincidence. Your shops should be areas you feel passionate about.

Critical Questions: 

1. What can you do now that you couldn’t do before this experience?

2. Do you have any skills that you didn’t know were marketable skills? What? How could you use them in real life?

3. How can creating ideas, products, and platforms be a real job for you?

4. What parts of this experience were the most difficult for you? What parts of creating something–a book, company, app, etc–do you suppose are hardest for an adult?

5. How did you grow through this experience? Do you think we should do more (or less) of this type of project in classes?

6. How would you measure your success in this project if you had to give it a grade?

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