This week, we began developing our Business Model Canvas, which helped my team start thinking about the resources, partnerships, and steps we need to make this system a reality among refugee camps. As we talked, I realized how vital customer feedback would be to us and to the open-source design community over time. I think that developing positive and strong customer relationships would be a key aspect of getting this project to work in the long-run. In OSD, because so many communities are adapting and changing the same concepts, communication is crucial. Without communication and sharing of information between the relevant actors (such as the designers, manufacturers, and users), progress cannot be made as effectively or efficiently as it would otherwise.
When we put together our Value Proposition, we were considering mainly the ways which our hydroponics system could benefit the refugee camps and the refugees themselves. But, as Professor Bevin pointed out, we should have included the ways that value could also be created for the businesses and OS designers we would partner with. For example, partnering with us by supplying our project with some of the resources we need to build the systems could booster a business’ CSR. We would also be creating value for the open-source hydroponics community by contributing to the innovation conversation and by offering firsthand feedback from the refugees on the effectiveness of different types of hydroponic systems across varying climates and landscapes. Thus, value would be created for not just our team and the refugee camps, but also for our partnering businesses and the OS community as well.