I was a P&M ninja last year because I thought the class lends itself to really exciting and different types of projects that you have a good amount of control over. I don’t have time in my semester this year to be a ninja, but I’d like to remind the Olin Community about cool projects students have done in past years through Frankly Speaking.
Here are 6 projects that were submitted via the form I sent out on the CarpeDiem and HelpMe mailing list.
Project/year: CAD Buddy (2018)
Person/part of team?: Nathan Estill (yes)
What was exciting? We got invited to Solidworks to pitch the idea and talk about it.
What did you learn? I think I learned about how many product decisions are dictated by the past standards that have been set and how many older customers are the bulk of user groups.
Project/year: The Investigators (2019)
Person/part of team?: Anonymous (yes)
What was exciting? It kept people talking, interacted with the whole community, solved a problem help me couldn’t solve.
What did you learn? To pick a good team.
Project/year: Button/pins. Included the Mark Pins (2018)
Person/part of team?: Anonymous (2019)
What was exciting? This project was the start of pride pins made for OPEN (because we were marketing towards Wellesley students lol). I also got paid $5 for a Mark Pin by Caitrin Lynch.
What did you learn? How to use the button maker in the library and that memes are profitable.
Project/year: <info.olin.build> (2018)
Person/part of team?: Kyle Emmi (yes)
What was exciting? I had come up with the idea during an in-class brainstorming session and watched it grow as I added more and more post-it notes with different features and information that should be included. This was in the beginning of the class so when I finally pursued the idea in the final project, I was able to see my original idea change shape into a final and very usable product.
What did you learn? That a group of highly motivated people with a good skill set can get a lot done in a very very short amount of time with the right idea.
Project/year: Disposable Cup usage at Olin (2018)
Person/part of team?: Corey Cochran-Lepiz (yes)
What was exciting? I got to chat with the kitchen staff and know more about the campus usage of disposable cups directly from the source. We also got to hear about previous systems they have experimented with which gave our project a jump start into brainstorming new ideas that they haven’t tried yet with their blessing to conduct our own experiments.
What did you learn? I learned that the DH ran through a couple thousand(?) disposable cups a week and that previously they tried a system where they gave people reusable cups to use but despite that people still preferred the disposable ones. (And more often than not they would toss it into the trash can which renders the compostable aspect moot)
Other comments: I had a lot of fun in this project and even extended it to my final where we spoke with coffee shops about the issue.
Project/year: Poptalks! (2018) Our final value proposition was to “encourage meaningful discussion within the Olin community by organizing and lightly facilitating conversation surrounding topics that are usually avoided.” After getting formed in P&M, PopTalks grew into a club that has been around for 3 semesters and counting.
Person/part of team?: David Freeman (yes)
What was exciting? We used this project to carve out a little space in Olin where we could engage with our community in a way that felt really good and nourishing.
What did you learn? I learned that I have permission to shape projects into what resonates with me. There can be a balance between stretching myself in learning and staying true to where my heart is, and this P&M project was my first opportunity to discover how meaningful it can be to follow my heart in Olin projects.
Project/year: Waffle Food Cart (2018)
Person/part of team?: Jordan Crawford-O’Banner (no)
What was exciting? It seemed like they did a lot of good work and testing.
What did you learn? I thought it was an interesting look into what is important for restaurants to be successful.
Project/year: <info.olin.build> (2018) a website to help people navigate stuff on Olin
Person/part of team?: Anonymous (no)
What was exciting? It helped me, as a user. I still use it even now.
What did you learn? I learned that a static Olin-centered P&M project can make a difference.
Project/year: A concert finding app (2017)
Person/part of team?: Allison Basore (yes)
What was exciting? We got a lot of interest from our user group. Ultimately, the idea itself was not that exciting, but the concept that we could build something that people wanted was very exciting.
What did you learn? Besides learning how to talk to strangers for the first time, I learned how to identify value in an idea.