B U S
  4 1 8 ,
  D r .
  N e i l l
 
Spring
 
16
 
Research
 Report
 for
 
 
 
Tea...
 
Table
 of
 Contents
 
 
Executive
 Summary
  Page
 1
 
 
Research
 Brief
  Pages
 2
 –
 10
...
  1
 
Executive  Summary
 
Research
 Purpose
 
 
The
 following
 research
 report
 seeks
 to
 help
...
  2
 
Research
 Brief
 
 
 
Current
 Situation
 
Using
 both
 internal
 and
 external
 resources,	...
3
 
Research
 Purpose
 
 
The
 client
 first
 briefed
 us
 on
 who
 they
 are and gave
 us
 a	...
4
 
Methodology
 
 
 
In
 order
 to
 answer
 our
 research
 questions
 and
 determine
 our
 ta...
5
 
Summary
 Table
 of
 Methodology
 
 
Method
 
  Description
 
  Purpose
 
 
Secondary
 
Resea...
6
 
Conclusions
 
 
 
 
After
 completing
 extensive
 secondary
 research,
 ethnographic
 research,...
7
 
What
 are
 they
 involved
 in?
 
 
Academic
 clubs
 and
 personal
 projects
 
 
As
 our
...
8
 
their extracurriculars
 build
 their
 resume
 (Appendix
 D).
 Based
 on
 this
 and
 the
 reocc...
9
 
Advertising
Advertisements,
 like
 the
 one
 shown
 below,
 should
 be
 hung
 up
 around
 camp...
10
 
Events
PolyProjects
 should
 create
 an
 event
 that
 invites
 all
 clubs
 across
 campus
 to...
  11
 
Appendix
 &
 Support
 Material
 
 
Appendix
 A:
 Secondary
 Research
 
 
 
Research
 Pur...
12
 
General
 Summary
 Project
 and
 Goal
 
Poly
 Projects
 is
 an
 online
 network
 for
 Cal
...
13
 
 
 
How
 Clients
 Communicate
 Offering
 
As
 of
 right
 now,
 due
 to
 the
 lack
 of...
14
 
4. Pitch
 Perfect
 Competition:
 In
 order
 to
 attain
 funding
 for
 the
 website,
 the
 P...
15
 
Weaknesses
  M
  I
  R
  Threat
  M
  I
  R
 
Potential
 Privacy
 and
 Copying
 Issues
 
...
16
 
organizations
 including
 academic,
 
cultural,
 environmental,
 community
 
service,
 performing
 ...
17
 
Competitors
 
PolyProjects
 is
 website
 exclusive
 for
 Cal
 Poly
 students,
 faculty,
 and
...
18
 
than
 PolyProjects’
 it
 addresses
 some
 issues
 that
 PolyProjects
 will
 face.
 In
 partic...
19
 
• The
 Cal
 Poly
 Center
 of
 Innovation
 and
 Entrepreneurship
 (CIE)
 
 
• LinkedIn
 
• Fac...
20
 
 
 
Knowledge
 Gaps:
 
 
• Do
 people
 (particularly
 students)
 prefer
 to
 make
 conne...
21
 
Political/Legal
 Trends
 
The
 rise
 of
 modern
 technology
 crossover
 is
 causing
 legal
 i...
  22
 
Appendix
 B:
 Focus
 Group
 Research
 
 
Focus
 Group
 Research
 Design
 
 
Research
 Que...
23
 
What
 motivates
 you
 to
 get
 involved
 in
 a
 project
 like
 this?”
 
Here
 is
 are
 ...
24
 
Moderators
 
Four
 students
 from
 the
 class
 were
 selected
 to
 moderate
 the
 focus
 gr...
25
 
1E.
 Tiffany
 
  3
  Business
 
1.
 Entrepreneurship
 
2.
 Wearable
 tech
 
3.
 Equality
 
...
26
 
2H.
 Leland
  *
  *
  *
  *
 
 
Name
  I
 am
 interested
 in
 
being
 part
 of
 an
...
27
 
Common
 Themes
 
The
 participants
 in
 the
 two
 different
 focus
 groups
 discussed
 a
 n...
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PolyProjects Research Report

Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Source: www.slideshare.net


Transcripts - PolyProjects Research Report

  • 1.       B U S   4 1 8 ,   D r .   N e i l l   Spring   16   Research  Report  for       Team  6:   Michelle  Chan   Carl  Kunde   Colin  Miller   Kaitlin  Siemering   Alicia  Yonan
  • 2.   Table  of  Contents     Executive  Summary   Page  1     Research  Brief   Pages  2  –  10   Client's  Current  Situation   Page  2   Research  Purpose   Page  3   Methodology Pages  4  –  5     Conclusions     Pages  6  –  8     Recommendations   Pages  8  –  10   Appendix  A:  Secondary  Research   Pages  11  –  21   Appendix  B:  Focus  Group  Research   Pages  22  –  29   Appendix  C:  Ethnographic  Research   Pages  30  –  70     Summary  of  Ethnographic  Findings   Pages  30  –  39     Individual  Observations   Pages  39  –  51   Individual  Interviews   Pages  51  –  70     Appendix  D:  Questionnaire  Research   Pages  71  –  81   Appendix  E:  Visual  Aids  and  Works  Cited   Pages  82  –  91   Presentation  Visuals Pages  82  –  88   Works  Cited Page  89  –  91
  • 3.   1   Executive  Summary   Research  Purpose     The  following  research  report  seeks  to  help  the  PolyProjects  team  determine  how  they  should  move   forward  with  their  service,  PolyProjects.  In  doing  this  research,  we  sought  to  answer     1. How  does  a  student's  major  correlate  with  his/her  involvement  in  projects?       2. What  problems  are  students  facing  in  connecting  with  students  in  other  majors?         Methodologies     In  order  to  develop  a  strong  understanding  of  what  PolyProjects  offers  and  the  characteristics  of  Cal   Poly  students,  we  used  both  primary  and  secondary  resources  to  develop  both  qualitative   and  quantitative  data.  To  gain  insight  into  the  details  of  PolyProjects  and  the  demographics  of  Cal   Poly  students,  we  did  extensive  secondary  research.  We  then  developed  two  focus  groups,  comprised  of   students  from  multiple  majors,  to  determine  student  project  involvement,  motivation,  interdisciplinary   communication,  and  their  thoughts  on  PolyProjects.  In  order  to  attain  more  information  on  students   and  their  project  involvement,  we  completed  both  observations  and  interviews  to  develop  patterns  in   their  thought  processes.  Finally,  to  attain  quantitative  data  to  support  our  beliefs,  we  developed  a   questionnaire  that  was  distributed  and  completed  by  students  of  every  college.     Conclusions     After  careful  examination  of  our  research,  we  were  able  to  answer  three  primary  questions  about  our   target  customer:   • Who  are  they?   • What  are  they  involved  in?   • What  are  they  thinking?   Recommendations   Based  on  our  conclusions,  we  determined  three  recommendations  for  the PolyProjects team   to implement moving  forward. Our  recommendations consist  of  the  message  that should  be   communicated  to  the  target  market  and  how  that  message  should  be  communicated  through  the   following  communication  channels:   • Ambassadors   • Advertising   • Events
  • 4.   2   Research  Brief       Current  Situation   Using  both  internal  and  external  resources,  the  following  is  a  summary  of  the PolyProjects current   situation. PolyProjects  is  an  online  network  for  Cal  Poly  students,  teachers,  and  faculty  who  are  looking   to  work  on  campus  or  student  developed  projects.  In  2014,  founder  Kathryn   Cassidy  created PolyProjects in  hopes  of  bringing  students  together  who  wished to  work  with  students   in  other  majors  on  specific  fields  (Cassidy,  BUS  418).  Since  the  idea  originated, Cassidy  has  worked   closely  with  a  team  of  students  from  different  majors  to create and promote  the  website  to   the 20,186  Cal  Poly  students  (Cal  Poly  Fact  Book). When  creating  the  SWOT  of  our  current  situation,  we   noticed  that  the  current  target  customer  -­‐all  Cal  Poly  students-­‐  was  very  broad.  This  is  something  that   we  will  address  further  in  our  Research  Purpose.  Below  are our  findings  of  the current  situation   of PolyProjects.    Strengths     Opportunities   • Specially  targets  CP  students:  Searching  for   local  positions  will  be  easier  and  faster     • CP  Faculty  can  post  projects:  Offers  more   opportunities  to  do  research  and  larger   projects       • Only  project  tailored  website  in  SLO  county     • Strong  CP  promotional  support     • Ensures  student  privacy  by  accessing  through   email     • Allows  students  who  are  unable  to  join  clubs   to  still  be  involved  in  interdisciplinary  clubs     • Setting  up  promotional  campaigns  with  CP  to   gain  student  exposure  and  trust     • Promoting  to  the  334  school  organized  clubs   and  fraternities/sororities     • PolyProjects  Live  Demo  (Allowing  students  to   test  the  website)     • Creating  a  PolyProjects  app     Weaknesses     Threats     • Potential  Privacy  and  Copying  Issues  with   student  ideas     • New  Websites  (Not  enough  posts  to  entice   students)     • Not  an  official  CP  site/branch  (students  may   not  trust/unwilling  to  use  site)     • No  reminder  setting  created  (Reminder  that   keeps  students  up  to  date  so  they  keep  coming   back  to  the  website)     • Moderators  must  approve  posts  before   uploaded  (long  wait  time)     • CP  club  projects  (students  would  rather  work   on  school  run  club  projects  over  projects  on  a   new  website)       • Direct  Competitors:  CollabFinders,  Cofounders   lab,  Founder2be,  Builditwith.me       • Indirect  Competitors:  CIE,  LinkedIn,  Facebook,   Craigslist,  Internship  websites,  message   boards       • Current  competitors  limit  market  penetration     • Research  Purpose  (question  and  reasoning)
  • 5. 3   Research  Purpose     The  client  first  briefed  us  on  who  they  are and gave  us  a  document  outlining  their  target  customers,   research  goals, and  hopeful outcomes,  which  would  guide  our  research.  After  initial  research  of   secondary  sources,  we  concluded  that  we  should  focus  on  the  student  population,  due  to  its  size  relative   to  the  faculty  and  staff  population  (Appendix  A).  We  then  decided  to  focus  on  the  following   from  PolyProject's  brief:     Target  Customers:     Cal  Poly  students Research  Goals:     • To  validate/invalidate  our  current  idea  of PolyProjects’  target  market.       • To  understand  what  motivates  the  students  and  staff  to  get  involved  in  extracurricular   activities/projects.     Research  Outcomes:     • Develop  strategies  to  better  engage  target  customers  to  interact  with  PolyProjects.       Based  on  these  goals  and  outcomes,  we  felt  that the  best  way  to  meet  the  needs  of  the  client  would  be   to  take  a  general  approach to obtaining  a  better  understanding  of potential  customers. We  did,   however,  feel  as  though  the  client's  target  market  was  too  broad  to  make  any  meaningful  conclusions   and  develop valuable insights.  Demographics  and  other  statistics  about  the given  target  market as  a   whole  are  already  available  via  Cal  Poly's Institutional  Research  department, but  behaviors  of  these   students  would  be  difficult  to  find  and  analyze. Therefore,  we  decided  to  focus  our  research  on  finding   out  who  the most-­‐likely potential  customers  might  be. Due  to  the number  of  students  in  comparison  to   the  other  groups  of  the  given  target  market, we  determined  that  we  would  focus  on students  only. To   narrow  the  target  market,  we  decided  to segment  the  population  by  college,  and  eventually  major. We   knew  that  on-­‐campus  projects and  collaborations already  existed,  but  we  didn’t  know  what kind   of projects  specifically  already  exist,  and  who  is  involved  in  them. Ultimately,  we came  up  with a  main   research  question which  focused on  segmenting  the  student  population  while  addressing  the  projects   that  already  existed:     Primary  Question:   How  does  a  student's  major  correlate  with  his/her  involvement  in  projects?     Secondary  Question:   What  problems  are  students  facing  in  connecting  with  students  in  other  majors?     Using  these questions for  direction we  began  primary  research  first  utilizing  a  focus  group,  observational   research,  one-­‐on-­‐one  interviews,  and  finally  a  questionnaire.  With  these  resources  we  were  able  to  not   only  determine  what  group  of  students  will  most  likely  be  customers,  but  (who  they  are  -­‐  insights?).  We   also  used  this  information  to  contrast  other  groups  of  students  as  an  opportunity  for  the  client  to   address  less-­‐likely  customers.
  • 6. 4   Methodology       In  order  to  answer  our  research  questions  and  determine  our  target  audience  for  this  project,  we  used  a   wide  range  of  research  techniques  to  develop  strong  findings.  Below  is  a  brief  description  of  the  multiple   techniques  we  used  and  a  summary  of  the  type  of  results  they  provided.  For  an  in  depth  report  of  the   results  from  each  technique,  please  go  to  appendices  A  through  D.   Secondary  (Appendix  A)   Our  team  began with  an  in  depth analysis of  the industry  and  current  market   situation for PolyProjects. Through  the  use of secondary  resources,  we  researched the industry, drawing   conclusions  and  insights  into  the  customers,  competition,  and macroenvironment for PolyProjects. We   used  a  variety  of library research  databases  to  compile  information  on  various  consumer  demographics   and  competitor  information. We  also  used  articles  to  identify  trends  within  the  growing industry,   which PolyProjects will  be  entering.         Focus  Group  (Appendix  B)   For our next step, we designed, conducted,  and  analyzed two  focus  groups sessions. The  two   managers  were  tasked  with  the  logistics  of  forming  two  successful  focus  groups  and  designing  the   questioning  route  to  reflect  the  research  questions  and  purpose.  The  moderators  (two  for  each  group)   were  tasked  with  the  execution  of  the  focus  group,  focusing  on  managing  the  flow  of  discussion  as  well   as  asking  probing  questions  to  gain  insights  from  the  market.       Observations  (Appendix  C)   Next,  each  member  of  our  team  set  out  to  observe  an  interdisciplinary  club  or  upper  division  class  with   multiple  majors  in  order  to  identify  themes  addressing  our  two  research  questions.  The  observations   were  held  at  a  PolyGoats  club  meeting,  BUS  346  class  meeting,  CURE  SLO  club  meeting,  BUS  310  class   meeting,  and  an  Engineers  Without  Borders  club  meeting.  We  documented  everything  we  saw  through   pictures  as  well  as  documenting  each  observation  through  notes.   Interviews  (Appendix  C)   Following  our  individual  observations,  each  team  member  interviewed  a  Cal  Poly  student   to  gain  insight   into  their  experiences  with  projects.  Our  team  interviewed  students  who  are  involved  in  activities,  team-­‐ oriented,  and  ambitious.  Our  team  developed  an  interview  guide  to  maintain  consistency  when  each   team  member  conducted  the  interview.    Questionnaire  (Appendix  D)   Our  team  concluded  our  research  by  developing  a  questionnaire  to  help  us  determine  the   level  of  difficulty  students  face  getting  involved  with  projects  and  groups  on  campus.  We  distributed  a   Google  Form  via  Cal  Poly  related  Facebook  groups  to  represent  a  sample  of  the  Cal  Poly  student   population.  The  questionnaire  was  designed  to  gather  the  most  useful  information  in  the  fewest   possible  questions.  The  questions  flow  from  general  to  specific,  followed  by  demographic  questions.  We   had  a  total  of  96  responses.
  • 7. 5   Summary  Table  of  Methodology     Method     Description     Purpose     Secondary   Research     Use  of  secondary  resources  (library   research  databases)  to  research  different   aspects  of  the  industry  and  market   around  PolyProjects.     To  identify  trends  and  insights  into  the   Customer  market,  macro  environment,   and  competitors  for  PolyProjects  and   establish  a  research  purpose.       Focus  group     Two  focus  groups  sessions  conducted   containing  college  students  of  different   ages  and  disciplines.       To  identify  different  insights  or  trends   through  interaction  with  the  target   market  of  the  service.     Observations     In  field  observations  of  interdisciplinary   clubs  and  classes  both  as  observers  and   participants.     To  gain  insights  to  the  qualities  of  a   successful  team  in  order  to  apply  certain   qualities  to  our  recommendations  to   PolyProjects.     Interviews     Interviewing  members  of  clubs  and   classes  previously  observed  during  the   ethnographic  research  portion  of  the   study  for  more  personal  data  on   members.     To  gain  more  specific  insights  than  the   previous  observations  and  gain  insight  to   specific  qualities  and  relate  them  to   PolyProjects.     Questionnaire     An  online  questionnaire  posted  to   multiple  groups  to  survey  multiple  on   campus  demographic  groups.     To  gain  insights  from  a  large  sample  of   the  market  targeted  by  PolyProjects  to   link  different  segments  of  the  market  to   potential  success  for  PolyProjects
  • 8. 6   Conclusions         After  completing  extensive  secondary  research,  ethnographic  research,  questionnaires,  and  focus   groups,  our  team  was  able  to  answer  three  key  questions  in  regards  to  PolyProject's  target  audience:       • Who  Are  They?       • What  Are  They  Involved  In?       • What  Are  They  Thinking?       Who  are  they?     Students  in  the  College  of  Business  and  College  of  Engineering         Based  on  our  ethnographic  research,  focus  group,  and  questionnaire,  we were able  to  determine  that   our  target customer is  primarily  students in the  College  of  Engineering  and  College  of   Business. According  to  Cal  Poly's  Student  Profile  page,  these  two  colleges  make  up  41.8%  of  the   university's  total  student  population,  with  5,422  being  students  in  the  College  of  Engineering  and  2,625   in the  College  of  Business. In  the focus  group,  based  on  student  feedback,  we  began  to  suspect  that   these  two  groups  would  have  the  highest  project  involvement  and  willingness  to  work  with  students  of   other  majors (Appendix  B).      "I  got  motivated  by  joining  a  club  and  being  in  a  community  of  people  with  similar  goals…   When  I  joined  the  entrepreneurship  club,  it  was  a  bunch  of  people  [from  different  majors]     and  all  that  mattered  is  what  you  brought  to  the  table"  -­‐  Business  Major  (Appendix  B)     This  was  confirmed  when  we  learned  through  our  survey  that  these  two  colleges have  the  highest   project  involvement  (see  chart  below)  and they ranked  themselves  most  likely  to  use PolyProjects with   average  responses  of 3.75  and  3.74 on  a  5  point  likelihood  scale (Appendix D).
  • 9. 7   What  are  they  involved  in?     Academic  clubs  and  personal  projects     As  our  target  customers  are  students  in  the  College  of  Business  and  the  College  of  Engineering,  we  were   able  to  narrow  down  what  they  are  specifically  involved  in.  From  the  questionnaire,  we  found  that   students  in  the  College  of  Business  were  most  involved  in  academic  clubs,  Greek  life,  and  part-­‐time  jobs,   and  students  in  the  College  of  Engineering  were  only  involved  in  academic  clubs  (Appendix  D).         The  following  table  highlights  students’  involvement  from  both  colleges:             College  of  Engineering     College  of  Business     Academic  Clubs     83.3%     52.9%     Personal  Projects     41.7%     29.4%        (Appendix  D)           From  the  focus  group,  we  observed  that  when  asked  about  group  formation,  engineering  and  business   students  had  more  experience  to  draw  upon  from  activities,  businesses,  and  product  development  than   other  students  had  (Appendix  B).             Finally,  from  our  ethnographic  observations,  we  were  able  to  see  how  current  clubs  and  classes  interact   as  a  team.  Although  many  of  these  clubs  were  interdisciplinary,  many  had  a  dominant  major  over   others.  Furthermore,  certain  clubs  and  teams  didn’t  recognize  the  need  for  interdisciplinary   activities. For  example,  engineering  students  didn’t  recognize  the  need  for  non-­‐technical  skills  (Appendix   C).         What  are  they  thinking?     Collaboration  and  motivation       While the College  of Engineering  and  the College of Business are  comprised  of different  major  courses,   both  colleges  share  similar  thoughts  about  teamwork  and  project  involvement. For  example, both   colleges  believe that teams  benefit  from  interdisciplinary  collaboration. When  Cal  Poly  clubs  are   interdisciplinary,  they  have  a  greater  ability  to  complete  projects  due  to  the  variety  of  skill  sets  used.  For   example,  from  an  interview with  a  member  from  Engineers  Without  Borders,  they  mentioned:       "...grant  proposals  are  a  huge  part  of  what  we  need  to  work  and  I  really  wish     I  could  have  gotten  them  to  help  out"  (Appendix  C)       This  shows  that  despite  the  club  being engineering  focused,  they  understand  that  the  club  cannot   function  fully  without  students  of  other  majors.  On  the  other  hand,  some  clubs  such  as  the  engineering   club  QL+,  are  not  yet  fully  utilizing  the  advantages  of  working  with  other  majors.  They  recognize   that  once  the  product  is  completed  they  will  need  help  from  students  of  all  majors  in  order  to  promote,   fund,  and  improve  the  product  (Appendix  C).            A  second common  thought  is  that  their  project  motivation  is  major  based  or  resume  based  (which  most   often  relates  to  major).  As  seen  in the  questionnaire,  47%  of  business  majors  and  33%  of  engineering   majors  thought  it  was  important  or  very  important  that  their extracurriculars are  major  based  and  70%   of  business  majors  and  58%  of  engineering  majors  thought  it  was  important  or  very  important  that
  • 10. 8   their extracurriculars  build  their  resume  (Appendix  D).  Based  on  this  and  the  reoccurring assumption   that  students  join extracurriculars to  do  projects, we  can  see  that  business  and  engineering   students  are motivated  to  do  projects  and  join extracurriculars that  are  major  based  and/or  resume   boosting.            Recommendations   Based on the above conclusions, we have come up with the following recommendations for the PolyProjects team to implement moving forward. Our recommendations consist of the message that that should be communicated to the target market and how that message should be communicated. THE  MESSAGE:   • Students  can  easily  get  involved  with  interdisciplinary  projects  by  using  PolyProjects     • Working  with  other  majors  will  improve  the  likelihood  of  a  project  being  well-­‐rounded  and   successful     • These  projects  can  provide  valuable  experience,  resume  worthy       • These  projects  can  relate  to  your  major  while  exposing  you  to  other  majors       HOW  TO  SPREAD  THE  MESSAGE: Ambassadors   PolyProjects should  heavily  promote  their  service  to  students  in  the  College  of  Engineering  and  the   College  of  Business  through  "PolyProjects  Ambassadors".  Currently,  a  number  of  organizations  at  Cal   Poly  have  ambassadors  for  their  program  who  help  inform  prospective  students  in  an  effective  way  as   these  ambassadors  are  some  of  the  first  people  these  students  might  interact  with.         Research  done  for  companies  looking  to  recruit  students  at  colleges  found  that  it's  ultimately  what   students  tell  each  other  about  organizations,  brands,  or  resources  that  makes  an  impact  on  how   students  behave  (Suzuno).  Similarly,  through  research  from  our  focus  group  we  found  that  students   often  get  involved  through  projects  and  activities  by  word  of  mouth  (Appendix  B).  Thus,  having  an   excellent  PolyProjects  Ambassador  program  to  get  the  word  out  will  make  a  huge  impact  when  trying  to   get  students  to  utilize  this  program  as  well  as  raising   awareness.                                                                                                                                                                     PolyProjects Ambassadors  should  also  inform  professors  and faculty about  the service  so  they  can  pass   the  word  on  to their  students  as  our  focus  group  research  showed  that  students  are  motivated  by   faculty  to  get  involved  or  pursue  a  project.
  • 11. 9   Advertising Advertisements,  like  the  one  shown  below,  should  be  hung  up  around  campus,  with  particular  focus  on   the  business  building  and  engineering  buildings.  From  our  focus  group  research  we  found  that  students   were  often  unaware  of  available  opportunities  and  thus  the  marketing  material  would  bring  awareness   to  PolyProjects.  More  specifically,  the  PolyProjects  team  should  also  create  digital  signage  for  the   College  of  Business  as  many  students  view  it  when  going  to  class.  Additionally,  an  advertisement  should   be  placed  in  the  Mustang  News  to  promote  the  service  as  61%  of  Cal  Poly  students  read  the  paper  one   or  more  times  a  week.             The  advertisement  shown  above  will  be  effective  because  it:     • Connects  with  our  target  audience  by  mentioning:     • Ideas,  resume,  skills     • Provides  information  quickly  and  succinctly     • Doesn’t  confuse  the  viewer  or  make  them  hunt  for  the  pertinent  information     • Calls  the  viewer  to  action   (“What  Makes…”)
  • 12. 10   Events PolyProjects  should  create  an  event  that  invites  all  clubs  across  campus  to  be  involved  in  completing   an  interdisciplinary  project.  This  event  could  be  similar  to  Start  Up  Weekend,  which  is  a  54  hour  event   that  brings  together  designers,  developers,  marketers,  product  managers,  and  startup  enthusiasts  to   share  ideas,  form  teams,  build  products,  and  launch  startups  (Startup).  Successful  Startup  Weekend   events  happen  regularly  around  the  globe,  including  annually  at  Cal  Poly,  and  are  perfect  representation   of  what  can  happen  when  you  bring  different  skill  sets  together  for  projects.  As  our  research  has  shown,   many  students  are  motivated  to  participate  in  activities  that  help  build  one's  resume  (Appendix  D).  Thus,   this  event  should  be  something  that  participants  can  proudly  put  on  their  resume  stating  that  they  were   involved  in.  Once  their  project  is  completed,  participants  would  be  able  to  see  the  importance  of   interdisciplinary  projects  and  the  importance  of  connecting  with  students  across  colleges.  At  the  very   end  of  the  event,  the  PolyProjects  Ambassadors  should  emphasize  the  value  of  interdisciplinary   projects  along  with  how  this  service  would  make  it  easier  for  the  Cal  Poly  community  to  connect  with   one  another.
  • 13.   11   Appendix  &  Support  Material     Appendix  A:  Secondary  Research       Research  Purpose   Prior  to  launching  PolyProjects,  we  will  have  to  understand  the  environment  in  which  it  will  be   implemented  in  (what  needs  currently  exist),  as  well  as  the  purpose  it  intends  to  serve  (how   PolyProjects  will  fulfill  these  needs).  A  “project”  will  be  defined  as  any  extra-­‐curricular,  collaborative   venture  that  is  not  currently  officially  sanctioned.  These  include  business  startups,  product  prototypes,   bands,  sports,  etc.  Through  our  research,  we  will  attempt  to  achieve  the  following  goals:     1. To  understand  the  motivations  of  students  to  start  or  be  involved  in  a  “project”     2. To  understand  the  need  for  connecting  others  for  the  purpose  of  starting,  helping,  finishing,  and   collaborating  on  “projects”     3. To  understand  what  kind  and  to  what  extent  students  and  staff  are  currently  creating  projects     4. To  understand  the  job  PolyProjects  will  do  for  each  of  its  users     Research  Questions   1. What  kinds  of  projects  at  Cal  Poly  currently  exist?     • Who  is  starting  these  projects?     • How  do  students  and  faculty  learn  about  these  projects  and  how  they  can  get  involved?     • How  are  current  project  starters  connecting  with  people  with  a  specific  skill  set  that   their  project  needs?     2. What  kind  of  projects  does  the  Cal  Poly  community  want  to  be  involved  with?     • Do  people  prefer  campus  affiliated  projects  or  independent  project?     Client   Reason  for  the  Creation  of  PolyProjects   Being  at  a  university  of  20,000  +  students,  searching  for  projects  and  programs  that  provide  experience,   resume  builders,  and  physical  products  feels  near  impossible  for  many  students.  Because  of  the   constant  ‘junior  year  and  up’  requirement  for  many  internships,  students  have  become  discouraged  that   they  will  never  be  able  to  develop  experience  in  their  first  two  years  at  college.  Along  with  students,   employers  are  searching  for  students  with  hands  on  experience  and  project  related  skills.  They  tend  to   choose  who  are  application  and  project  smart  over  textbook  smart.  This  is  where  PolyProjects  comes   into  play.
  • 14. 12   General  Summary  Project  and  Goal   Poly  Projects  is  an  online  network  for  Cal  Poly  students,  teachers,  and  faculty  who  are  looking  to  work   on  campus  or  student  developed  projects.  In  2014,  founder  Kathryn  Cassidy  created  PolyProjects  in   hopes  of  bringing  students  together  who  wished  to  work  with  students  in  other  majors  on  specific  fields   (Cassidy,  BUS  418).  In  order  to  attain  this  goal,  Cassidy  felt  that  Cal  Poly  needed  to  develop  a  place   (either  website  or  physical  facility)  where  students  can  discover  their  skills  and  utilize  them  with  other   students  on  projects.  “Poly  Projects’  goal  is  to  bring  Cal  Poly  students  together  to  ensure  that  they  have   the  knowledge  and  resources  from  other  students  to  create  and  complete  a  senior  project  or  non-­‐credit,   innovative  project  successfully.”     Physical  Product   In  order  to  attain  this  goal,  the  founders  are  offering  this  website  where  Cal  Poly  students  and  faculty   post  either  what  types  of  people  they  are  looking  for  to  help  in  their  project  or  the  types  of  projects  they   are  interested  in  pursuing.  The  website  will  update  automatically  every  time  someone  has  a  project   request  (rather  than  wait  to  get  approved)  which  makes  the  experience  better  and  lead  to  project  teams   forming  faster.  The  website  will  provide  a  template  depending  on  whether  project  seeker  or  project   creator  in  order  to  help  the  process  run  more  efficiently.    In  order  to  address  the  concern  over  privacy   and  who  you  are  working  with,  the  site  is  purely  for  Cal  Poly  people  (Cassidy,  BUS  418).  To  access  the   site,  a  person  must  sign  in  with  their  calpoly.edu  email.  Below  are  photos  of  the  website  design  in  2014   (Cassidy,  PolyProjects).     Poly  Projects  Website  Design
  • 15. 13       How  Clients  Communicate  Offering   As  of  right  now,  due  to  the  lack  of  a  published  website,  the  PolyProjects  team  has  not  been  actively   communicating  their  idea  to  the  public  yet.  They  are  still  in  the  test  run  phase  of  getting  the  idea  out   there  without  actually  putting  the  plan  in  action  right  now.  They  do  not  have  a  Facebook,  Instagram,  or   any  other  social  media  outlet.       The  following  are  five  main  ways  they  have  been  communicating  PolyProjects:   1. Hackathon:  In  February  of  2014,  Kathryn  Cassidy  and  a  first  year  computer  science  student   entered  the  annual  Hackathon  completion.  From  year,  PolyProjects  was  born.  It  was  at  this   event  where  they  initially  developed  the  idea  and  gained  feedback  right  away  on  if  this  is   something  that  would  be  appealing  for  other  students.  Because  of  their  innovative  idea,  they   won  funding  to  continue  working  on  it.  (Cassidy,  BUS  418)   2. Word  of  Mouth  Through  Friends:  In  order  to  get  a  feel  for  the  type  of  people  who  would  use  this   site,  the  PolyProjects  team  has  spoken  to  their  friends  about  the  website.    From  there,  these   friends  have  talked  about  the  website  with  their  friends.  Through  these  conversations,  the  team   members  have  learned  about  what  ideas  would  work  and  not  work,  what  programs  to  set  up  on   the  site,  and  how  they  should  lay  out  the  web  site.   3. Interviews:  After  exploring  existing  websites  similar  to  PolyProjects,  the  team  conducted   interviews  with  Cal  Poly  students,  faculty,  and  staff  about  whether  or  not  they  would  find  this   resource  help  and  any  suggestions  they  may  have.  These  meetings  contained  interview   questions  that  asked  specific  questions  in  regards  to  resources,  competition  and  more.  These   interviews  were  held  with  fourteen  faculty  members  and  thirteen  students.  Once  the  website   was  built,  the  team  was  again  held  interviews,  but  this  time  with  SLO  Hothouse,  CIE,  Innovation   Sandbox,  and  –once  again-­‐  students  and  faculty  to  test  the  website  and  offer  any  feedback   (Cassidy,  BUS  418).
  • 16. 14   4. Pitch  Perfect  Competition:  In  order  to  attain  funding  for  the  website,  the  PolyProjects  team  has   entered  campus  competitions  such  as  the  Pitch  Perfect  Competition.  For  the  competition,  the   team  created  a  video  pitch  of  the  website.  It  included  their  slogan,  what  the  website  was,  and   the  significance  of  it  (Lauritsen).  The  competition  helped  them  to  communicate  the  website  idea   to  Cal  Poly  faculty  to  see  if  it  was  something  they  were  interested  in  as  well.  Link  to  video:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfWtya2MNy4  (PolyProjects).     5. Library  Articles:  Due  to  their  submission  at  the  Pitch  Perfect  competition,  the  PolyProjects  team   was  written  about  on  the  Kennedy  Library  website.  In  the  articles  below,  Cal  Poly  students   published  articles  about  the  website  which  further  expanded  the  knowledge  about  the  website   (Lauritsen).  For  all  of  the  students  and  faculty  who  read  the  library  articles,  they  now  knew  what   PolyProjects  was,  what  it  looked  like,  and  where  they  planned  to  go  from  there.  This  was  a  form   of  secondary  communication  in  that  someone  else  communicated  the  idea  for  them,  thus   spreading  knowledge  of  the  website  further  (Scott).  Links  to  the  articles  are  listed  below:   http://lib.calpoly.edu/outloud/2015/03/more-­‐about-­‐our-­‐pitch-­‐perfect-­‐round-­‐1-­‐winners/     Client  SWOT  Analysis   M  =  magnitude  of  element  (ranges  from  +3  very  favorable  to  -­‐3  very  unfavorable)     I  =  Importance  of  element  (ranges  from  3  critical  importance  to  1  lesser  importance)     R  =  Final  rating  of  the  element,  which  is  calculated  by  multiplying  Magnitude  by  Importance  (R  =  M  *  I)     Strengths   M   I   R   Opportunities   M   I   R   Targeted  to  specifically  CP  students   (Makes  searching  for  local  positions   easier/faster)     3     3   9   Setting  up  a  promotional  campaign  with   CP  to  gain  student  trust  and  views.     2   3   6   CP  faculty  can  post  projects  (More   opportunities  to  do  research  and  work   with  adults  on  larger  projects)       2   2   4   Reaching  out  to  and  promoting  through   the  334  school  organized  clubs  and   fraternities/sororities     2   2   4   Only  website  tailored  for  projects  in   San  Luis  Obispo  county     2   3   6   PolyProjects  Live  Demo  (Have  students   test  run  it  and  discuss  their  positive   experience  with  it)     3   1   3   Strong  CP  promotional  support  (email,   newsletters,  etc.)     3   2   6   Creating  a  PolyProjects  app  to  better   reach  the  Generation  Z.       2   3   6   Ensures  student  privacy  by  accessing   through  CP  email  (greater  student   trust)     1   1   1   Generation  Z's  knowledge  and  comfort   with  internet,  social  media,  and  modern   technology  provides  strong  platform  for   growth  in  market     1   2   2   Promotes  Interdisciplinary   Environment  on  campus     3   1   3           Promotes  CP  motto  of  Learn-­‐by-­‐Doing       2   1   2           Way  for  students  who  are  unable  to   join  club  committees  to  still  take  on   hands  on  projects     3   2   6
  • 17. 15   Weaknesses   M   I   R   Threat   M   I   R   Potential  Privacy  and  Copying  Issues   with  student  ideas     -­‐2   3   -­‐6   CP  club  projects  (students  would   rather  work  on  school  run  club   projects    over  projects  on  a  new   website)       -­‐3   3   -­‐9   New  Website  (Not  enough  postings  to   entice  students)     -­‐3   3   -­‐9   Direct  Competitors:  CollabFinders,   Cofounders  lab,  Founder2be,   Builditwith.me     -­‐3   2   -­‐6   No  tests  in  progress  to  ensure  user   friendly     -­‐1   1   -­‐1   Indirect  Competitors:  CIE,  Linkedin,   Facebook,  Craigslist,  Internship   websites,  message  boards       -­‐3   3   -­‐9   Not  an  official  CP  site/branch  (students   may  not  trust/unwilling  to  browse  site)     -­‐3   2   -­‐6   Current  competitors  limit  market   penetration     -­‐1   2   -­‐2   Currently  no  reminder  setting  created   (a  reminder  that  keeps  students  up  to   date  on  certain  types  of  projects  so   they  keep  coming  to  the  website)     -­‐3   2   -­‐6           Moderator  must  approve  posts  before   they  are  uploaded  (long  wait  time)   -­‐2   1   -­‐2           Customer   The  purpose  of  the  following  data  is  to  help  the  PolyProjects  team  learn  more  about  their  customers  and   what  they  value,  and  in  turn  use  that  information  to  understand  how  to  cater  their  service  towards   them.  Our  goal  is  to  segment  the  market  to  target  the  largest  and  most  reachable  segment  of  customers   in  order  for  the  Poly  Projects  team  to  achieve  its  goals.     Customer  Needs   • A  place  that  allows  users  to  form  teams  across  majors  to  accomplish  new  projects  or  ideas       • A  place  that  encourages  an  innovative  and  creative  atmosphere  on  campus       • A  place  that  enhances  the  Learn  by  Doing  experience  encouraged  by  Cal  Poly       • A  place  that  lets  users  develop  current  skills/explore  untapped  ones       • A  place  that  offers  users  relevant  experience  and  project-­‐related  skills  that  employers  are   demanding  (something  for  the  resume)   Customer  Profiles   Students   Faculty  and  staff   • 20,186  total  students  enrolled   • Average  age  is  20.2  years   • 55.1%  male   • 44.9%  female   • Often  spend  much  time  on  campus,  in   class,  studying,  or  working   • Participate  in  campus  related  clubs  and   • 1,345  employees   • Average  age  is  46.2  years   • Many  have  spouses  and  families   • Dedicated  to  teaching  students   • They  enjoy  using  technology,  and  if  they   aren’t  technology-­‐savvy,  are  looking  to   learn  to  make  the  switch
  • 18. 16   organizations  including  academic,   cultural,  environmental,  community   service,  performing  arts,  religious,  and   professional   • Students  like  to  stay  connected  through   the  use  of  technology  (computers  and   cell  phones)   • Students  have  full/part-­‐time  jobs  either   on/off  campus   Students  value  the  Learn-­‐by-­‐Doing  motto   • Some  hold  other  jobs  besides  the  ones   here  at  Cal  Poly   • Most  employees  genuinely  want  the  best   for  their  students,  and  will  go  out  of  their   way  to  help  them           Market  Segmentation   Although  faculty  and  staff  add  an  essential  element  to  the  Cal  Poly  Community  and  could  be  potential   users  of  PolyProjects,  for  the  purposes  of  this  study,  we  will  be  focusing  only  on  the  student  population   as  it  is  a  very  large  population  and  students  are  more  likely  to  participate.
  • 19. 17   Competitors   PolyProjects  is  website  exclusive  for  Cal  Poly  students,  faculty,  and  staff  to  bring  talented  people   and  amazing  projects  together.  These  projects  can  be  anything  from  starts  up  to  rock  bands  to  senior   projects.  The  requirement  of  an  active  Cal  Poly  email  address  helps  users  ensure  that  their  ideas  aren’t   being  shared  with  the  world  and  that  the  people  they  are  contacting  are  truly  local  and  most  likely   reliable  people.       Though  PolyProjects  is  unique  in  a  number  of  ways,  it  is  not  entirely  innovative.  PolyProjects   faces  a  number  of  direct  and  indirect  competitors.  This  is  not  surprising  since  the  idea  of  gathering   skilled,  likeminded  people  is  an  important  aspect  of  almost  any  endeavor.  By  thoroughly  researching  the   competition  that  exists,  PolyProjects  can  learn  what  their  key  differentiating  characteristics  are  in  order   to  better  market  themselves  to  users.  Additionally,  competitor  research  will  allow  PolyProjects  to  see  in   what  areas  they  may  want  to  improve  to  better  serve  their  customers  and  further  differentiate  from  the   competition.       Direct  Competitors   PolyProjects’  direct  competitors  include  websites  intended  to  connect  people  for  the  purpose  of   furthering  their  projects,  businesses,  or  interests.  The  following  websites  have  been  identified  as   PolyProjects’  direct  competitors:       • CollabFinder   • CoFoundersLab   • Founder2be   • Builditwith.me   • Meetup        The  website  that  is  the  most  similar  to  the  PolyProjects  is  Collabfinder,  which  is  also  designed   to  connect  people  and  projects.  Their  user  interface  is  very  similar  to  PolyProjects  as  it  allows  you  to   browse  by  “People”  or  “Projects”  and  narrow  those  searches  as  necessary.  One  way  it  is  differentiated   from  PolyProjects  is  that  they  also  have  a  “Groups”  section  where  users  can  create  or  join  groups  that   have  a  particular  focus  for  their  members  and  internal  projects  (CollabFinder).  For  example  I  could   create  a  “Cal  Poly  Startup  group”  and  with  it  post  projects  related  to  local  startups  and  people   interested  in  joining  various  Cal  Poly  or  local  startups  could  join  the  group.  Collabfinder’s  group  section   does  not  have  great  functionality  but  the  concept  is  something  that  could  be  helpful  to  PolyProjects  and   would  be  worth  investigating  its  value  to  the  customer.         Both  CoFoundersLab  and  Founder2be  are  websites  designed  to  specifically  connect   entrepreneurs  who  are  looking  for  fellow  cofounders  for  their  business  venture.  This  is  a  particular  niche   of  what  PolyProjects  will  do  for  members  of  the  Cal  Poly  community  so  they  are  important  competitors   to  consider.  Both  websites  help  startups  to  connect  with  potential  cofounders  as  well  as  find  potential   financial  partners.  Easy  access  to  potential  funding  is  major  component  of  both  sights  and  might  be   something  that  increases  the  appeal  of  PolyProjects.  Additionally,  both  websites  have  issues  that  make   searching  for  what  you  might  need  more  difficult.  CoFoundersLab  only  lists  individual’s  profiles  and   within  the  profiles  states  if  they  are  looking  for  a  particular  cofounder  (Find).  Founder2be’s  interface  is   dated  and  not  intuitive  which  can  make  it  hard  to  know  where  to  look  (Founder2be).  A  sleek  and   intuitive  interface  combined  with  an  effective  search  function  will  be  important  for  PolyProjects.        Build  It  With  Me  is  even  more  specific,  created  to  connect  designers  and  developers  for  the   purpose  of  creating  new  apps.  While  the  scope  of  Build  It  With  Me’s  intended  user  is  much  more  narrow
  • 20. 18   than  PolyProjects’  it  addresses  some  issues  that  PolyProjects  will  face.  In  particular,  to  keep  people’s   ideas  from  being  stolen  Builditwith.me  encourages  users  to  list  only  key  details  that  will  capture  interest   and  then  instruct  potential  partners  to  send  a  message  for  more  information.  The  website  also   automatically  reformats  any  images  to  a  low  enough  quality  that  no  one  can  “carbon  copy”  the  upload   designs/screenshots  (Build).    These  security  considerations  will  important  for  PolyProjects  as  they  try  to   increase  the  number  of  projects  listed.    Meetup  is  a  website  that  allows  individuals  to  create  local  community  groups  based  on   common  interest.  This  is  a  direct  competitor  because  the  purpose  of  the  groups  can  be,  and  often  is,  to   create  a  group  to  work  on  a  particular  local  project.  Meetup’s  design  and  function  has  proven  itself   successful  as  they  have  over  20  million  members  worldwide  and  the  events  created  within  the  200,000   Meetup  groups  garner  3.55  million  RSVPs  per  month.  Use  of  the  website  is  free  but  individual  groups   have  to  ability  to  charge  “dues”  to  cover  any  costs  associated  with  people  a  part  of  the  group.  The   groups  are  limited  by  geographic  location  and  allow  for  social  interaction  on  the  pages  (Meetup).  The   social  aspects  of  the  site  could  potentially  be  a  feature  that  PolyProjects  would  want  to  consider.       The  chart  below  summarizes  and  compares  the  key  offerings  and  features  of  each  website:          Knowledge  Gaps:   • Would  facilitating  the  creation  of  community  groups  and/or  offering  events  increase  the  appeal   of  PolyProjects?   • Would  PolyProjects’  users  want  a  way  to  connect  with  potential  financial  partners  for  projects?   • How  important  is  security  to  PolyProjects  users?  Are  they  concerned  their  ideas  will  be  stolen?   • Does  the  limitation  of  only  users  with  a  Cal  Poly  affiliation  make  people  more  incline  to  join   and/or  share  their  ideas?   • How  will  people  communicate  on  PolyProjects?  Messages?  Comments?  Formal  applications?     Indirect  Competitors     PolyProjects’  indirect  competitors  include  any  resource  that  allows  people  to  connect  for  the   purpose  of  furthering  their  projects,  businesses,  or  interests.  Connecting  people  for  those  purposes  is   most  likely  not  the  main  objective  of  the  resource  but  it  provides  an  avenue  for  connection  regardless.   There  are  a  large  number  of  potential  indirect  competitors  but  the  most  relevant  are:
  • 21. 19   • The  Cal  Poly  Center  of  Innovation  and  Entrepreneurship  (CIE)     • LinkedIn   • Facebook   • Google+     • Craigslist   • Interest  specific  websites  and  message  boards         Community  and  college  based  groups  such  as  The  Cal  Poly  Center  of  Innovation  and   Entrepreneurship  (CIE)  support  a  number  of  different  programs  that  facilitate  the  connection  between   people  and  projects  or  starts  ups.  Specifically,  CIE  encompasses  the  Cal  Poly  Entrepreneurs  club,  hosts   Entrepreneurship  Forums,  and  operates  the  Innovation  Sandbox  (Center).  Beyond  those  specific   programs  where  people  can  connect  with  projects,  the  people  within  the  CIE  network  are  constantly   making  in-­‐person  recommendations  and  connections  for  people  to  work  together.     Online  social  networks  such  as  LinkedIn,  Facebook,  and  Google+  pose  very  serious  competition   for  PolyProjects  as  many  people  are  already  using  them  and  they  include  feature  various  options  for   connecting  with  new  people.  LinkedIn  is  designed  to  make  professional  connections  and  has  over  300   million  members.  LinkedIn  also  allows  users  to  join  groups  related  to  topics  that  interest  them  and   within  those  groups  start  discussions  (LinkedIn).  LinkedIn  groups  are  a  potential  way  for  people  to   connect  with  projects.  Facebook  is  intended  for  keeping  in  touch  with  people  you  know  but  Facebook   groups  give  people  the  same  capability  to  connect  over  interests  as  LinkedIn  does  but  without  as   streamlined  of  a  discussion  feature  (Facebook).  Google+  is  also  for  staying  connected  with  people   you’ve  met  but  more  clearly  defines  relationships  and  makes  it  easier  to  explore  topics  that  interest  you.   Part  of  this  discovery  is  joining  Google+  communities  to  share  information  and  have  discussions  related   to  that  community  (Google+).  All  of  these  social  networks  and  their  respective  group  functions  require   many  extra  steps  for  individuals  to  make  connections  with  projects  or  for  projects  to  seek  out  the   people  they  need.       Craigslist,  the  online  version  of  newspaper  classified,  is  an  indirect  competitor  because  it  allows   any  type  of  posting  and  is  geographically  segmented.  Therefore  people  could  post  their  project  idea   under  the  jobs  section  to  find  the  people  they  need  or  people  seeking  projects  could  post  their  skills  in   the  community  section  (Craigslist).  Luckily,  PolyProjects  offers  a  much  more  streamline  way  to  make   those  connections.     Additionally,  any  interest  specific  websites  and  message  boards,  such  at  the  entrepreneurship   section  of  the  reddit  website,  are  a  form  of  indirect  competition  as  they  foster  a  way  for  people  with   particular  interests  or  ideas  to  find  each  other  and  make  connections  (/r/).  However,  those  kinds  of   websites  often  lack  the  ability  to  segment  geographically  unless  a  particular  thread  is  created  for  that   area.       The  chart  below  summarizes  and  compares  the  key  offerings  and  features  of  each  indirect  competitor:
  • 22. 20       Knowledge  Gaps:     • Do  people  (particularly  students)  prefer  to  make  connections  in  person?  Or  through  online   channels?   • Are  potential  PolyProjects  users  open  to  learning  and  signing  up  for  another  online  platform?   • Are  enough  people  bothered  by  the  extra  effort  required  to  make  connections  on  current   platforms  to  switch  to  PolyProjects?   • What  features  are  critical  to  getting  people  to  use  PolyProjects?   • How  important  is  it  that  people  working  on  projects  are  local?       Environment   Social  Trends   The  millennials  or  generation  Z  is  the  driving  force  behind  the  current  growth  of  advanced  technology   based  business  in  the  US  and  around  the  world.  With  the  growth  in  the  amount  of  trade  happening   online,  the  electronic  consumer  is  becoming  a  massive  growing  market.  With  Generation  Z  making  up   college  students  currently  in  the  Us,  the  possibilities  for  a  company  such  as  Poly  projects  launching  on  an   online  platform  plays  to  the  strong  tendency  of  this  generation  to  apply  luxury  technology  as  a  platform   for  the  service.  The  launch  of  an  associated  application  on  platforms  such  as  a  smartphone  or  tablet   would  capitalize  on  the  millennials  placed  premium  on  luxury  technology  (How).       Technological  Trends   With  the  rise  of  Internet  use  in  an  educational  setting,  online  websites  and  applications  show  potential   growth  in  a  college  setting.  Competition  with  traditional  universities  and  online  universities  is  driving  a   greater  adaptation  of  technology  by  students.  Today,  almost  every  incoming  freshman  owns  or  is  issued   a  computer  making  the  idea  of  an  online  forum  for  the  company  to  be  ideal  in  today’s  educational   environment.  This  alongside  the  development  of  an  application  compatible  with  both  android  and  apple   products  would  play  to  the  prevalent  technology  use  by  students  (College).
  • 23. 21   Political/Legal  Trends   The  rise  of  modern  technology  crossover  is  causing  legal  issues  for  tech  companies.  Digital  companies   are  engaging  in  a  number  of  copyright  battles  for  technology  and  concepts.  This  is  a  smaller  issue  for   Companies  such  as  Apple  and  Google  who  have  the  capital  to  fight  lawsuits  but  can  be  devastating  for   smaller  companies  or  startups.  Big  tech  firms  are  monopolizing  patents  through  acquisitions  and  capital-­‐ heavy  research  and  development  causing  smaller  businesses  to  be  pressured  into  paying  heavy  licensing   fees  or  go  out  of  business.  This  is  also  adding  an  increase  in  cost  to  consumers  (Digital).       The  rise  in  tuition  and  struggles  with  government  funding  for  public  universities,  such  as  Cal  Poly,  causes   a  higher  level  of  scrutiny  when  it  comes  to  investing  in  additional  student  services.  Even  a  small   investment  by  the  school  can  cause  issues  for  students  in  terms  of  tuition  raise  (College).     Summary  Table  &  Analysis   Factor   Impact   Description   Analysis   Technology   Positive   The  rapid  growth  of  technology  and  the   internet  is  positioning  an  online  service   such  as  PolyProjects  to  have  high  success   with  the  younger  generations  and  in   education  overall   Current  technology  creates   strong  prospects  for   adoption  with  the  current   consumer  market,  as  well  as   capabilities  for  expansion   beyond  school     Political   Negative   Problems  with  government  funding  and   rising  tuition  costs  causes  issues  with  the   investment  colleges  can  make,   threatening  PolyProjects'  desire  to  one   day  be  bought  and  adopted  into  the  Cal   Poly  portal  for  students   Issue  around  tuition  at  a   public  school  such  as  Cal  Poly   makes  the  possibility  of   being  adopted  in  the  future   by  the  school  less  likely       Legal   Negative   The  rise  in  Patent  battles  in  the  Tech   industry  threatens  small  startups  that   may  come  about  as  a  result  of   PolyProjects,  leading  to  worries  of   copyrights  for  ideas  being  posted  in  their   service   Idea  copyrights  cant  be   guaranteed  by  PolyProjects   making  it  harder  to  gain   support       Social   Positive   Gen  “Zers”  are  highly  individualistic  and   self-­‐absorbed,  but  their  large  amount  of   time  spent  communicating  on-­‐line  means   they  are  sometimes  lacking  in  social  skills.   Their  constant  exposure  to  media  also   means  they  are  highly  skeptical  and   discriminating  (Make).   Our  target  market  might  not   approve  of  certain  marketing   due  to  immense  skepticism,   but  the  lack  of  social  skills  is   an  opportunity  for   PolyProjects  to  compete.       Social   Positive   41  percent  of  faculty  use  social  media  in   the  classroom,  but  this  use  continues  to   experience  steady  year-­‐to-­‐year  growth.   The  level  of  personal  use  of  social  media   among  faculty  (70.3  percent)  mirrors  that   of  the  general  population  (New)     Faculty  members  want  to  be   connected  and  want  to  use   social  media.  This  could   translate  into  motivation  to   use  PolyProjects.
  • 24.   22   Appendix  B:  Focus  Group  Research     Focus  Group  Research  Design     Research  Questions   The  primary  research  question  our  team  is  seeking  to  answer  is:   How  does  a  student's  major  correlate  with  his/her  involvement  in  projects?     The  secondary  research  question  our  team  is  seeking  to  answer  is:   What  problems  are  students  facing  in  connecting  with  students  in  other  majors?     Questioning  Route   Before  bringing  the  focus  group  to  order  the  participants  are  offered  donuts  and  coffee  and  asked  to  fill   out  a  survey.  The  results  from  this  survey  can  be  found  below  in  the  participant  information  section.     Welcome   The  welcoming  statements  inform  the  participants  of  the  purpose  of  the  group,  encourage  their   participation,  and  disclose  that  they  were  being  recorded:   “Good  morning  and  thanks  for  joining  us  today.  My  name  is  ________.   We’ve  been  asked  by  a  local  start-­‐up  to  help  them  get  information  from  potential  customers  about   an  online  service  called  PolyProjects.  You  were  invited  here  because  we  would  like  to  get  your  input.   There  are  no  right  or  wrong  answers.  We  expect  that  you  will  have  different  points  of  view.  Please   feel  free  to  share  these  even  if  they  differ  from  what  others  have  said.  We’re  here  to  express  our   opinions  and  ideas.   We’re  recording  the  discussion  because  we  don’t  want  to  miss  any  of  your  comments.  So,  please   speak  up,  and  let’s  have  one  speaker  at  a  time.  Your  comments  are  confidential,  and  no  names  will   be  included  in  any  reports.”   Opening  question     To  make  everyone  more  comfortable  and  get  the  group  talking  the  moderators  ask  a  simple  opening   question:   “Let’s  begin  to  get  to  know  one  another  by  going  around  the  table  and  telling  us  your  first  name  and   the  one  thing  that  you  enjoy  most  about  attending  Cal  Poly.”   Introductory  question  [napkin  drawing  activity]   This  activity  gets  all  the  participants  involved  and  allows  them  to  better  connect  with  the  purpose  of   PolyProjects  later  in  the  discussion:   “Next  we’d  like  to  do  a  little  exercise:  draw  a  picture  of  something  you  always  wished  you  could   change  in  the  world  or  some  product  you  always  thought  you  could  improve.  This  could  be  some   invention,  business  idea,  social  cause  that's  always  been  in  the  back  of  your  mind.   [Gives  time  to  complete  drawing]
  • 25. 23   What  motivates  you  to  get  involved  in  a  project  like  this?”   Here  is  are  two  examples  of  participants’  drawings:     Transition  question     This  group  activity  and  questions  move  the  conversation  towards  answering  key  questions  by  going   more  in  depth  on  one  idea  than  they  did  with  their  own  ideas  in  the  previous  activity:       “Okay,  let's  shift  gears  and  work  through  a  scenario  together  -­‐-­‐  we're  going  to  start  a  rock  band.   Does  any  want  to  be  our  lead  singer  to  build  this  company/brand?   How  do  we  get  this  idea  off  the  ground  and  make  it  happen?”   Key  question   These  questions  address  the  class’s  general  research  questions:     “How  would  you  go  about  finding  others  to  work  on  this  project?   What  do  you  like  the  current  ways  you  find  others  to  work  on  this  project?   What  are  some  resources  you  wished  you  had  to  find  partners  for  this  project,  and  why?”   Ending  question  [brainstorming  activity]   These  questions  bring  closure  to  the  discussion  and  specifically  gather  participant’s  opinion  on  how  to   inform  students  about  PolyProjects:   “At  the  start,  we  mentioned  that  this  focus  group  is  for  PolyProjects,  which  is  an  online  project   postings  site  that  allows  Cal  Poly  students,  faculty,  and  staff  to  easily  connect  across  disciplines  for   the  purpose  of  forming  collaborations  on  any  type  of  projects.  Before  we  wrap  up,  we'd  like  your   help  in  brainstorming  ideas  about  PolyProjects.   How  do  you  think  PolyProjects  can  become  a  respected  and  relied  upon  resource  for  the  Cal  Poly   community?   How  and  where  would  you  like  to  receive  this  information  about  this  service?”     Focus  Group  Design     Date:     April  28,  2015   Times:       9:00  AM-­‐10:00  AM   10:00  AM-­‐11:00  AM
  • 26. 24   Moderators   Four  students  from  the  class  were  selected  to  moderate  the  focus  groups.  Ilana  and  Gannon  moderated   the  first  focus  group  from  9:00  –  10:00  AM.  Colin  and  Kaitlyn  moderated  the  second  focus  group  from   10:00  –  11:00  AM.  Both  a  male  and  a  female  moderated  each  focus  group  in  order  to  help  make  all   participates  feel  as  comfortable  participating  as  possible.  The  moderators  were  responsible  for  directing   the  focus  group  discussion.     Sampling  Strategy   The  focus  group  team  had  the  class  recruit  participants  based  on  several  key  factors.  These  factors   included:  major,  school/project  involvement,  year  in  school,  and  interests.  Major  was  the  most   important  factor  as  we  believed  that  talking  to  a  wide  variety  of  majors  would  help  us  better  understand   the  potential  challenges  students  face  connecting  with  people  who  have  different  skill  sets.  The  majors   of  particular  interest  included:  Engineering,  Computer  Science,  Architecture,  Business,  IT,  Graphic   Communications,  Nutrition,  Liberal  Arts,  and  Communications.  Additionally,  we  sought  to  recruit   participants  who  are  currently  involved  in  school  clubs  or  activities,  as  this  improved  the  likelihood  that   PolyProjects  would  be  a  relevant  service  to  them.  Year  in  school  and  general  interests  were  also  sample   considerations  but  were  not  stressed  heavily  as  the  other  requirements  combined  with  busy  student   schedules  already  provided  a  fairly  narrow  group  of  target  individuals.  Finally,  the  focus  groups  were   divided  in  the  two  groups  based  on  their  availability  (9:00  or  10:00  AM).     Recruitment  Efforts   Each  group  was  tasked  with  recruiting  three  to  four  focus  group  participants.  This  improved  our  odds  of   having  an  acceptable  level  of  actual  focus  group  participation.  Participants  were  incentivized  to  attend   the  focus  group  through  free  SLO  Do  Co  donuts  and  coffee.     Participant  Information   Each  participant  was  asked  to  fill  out  a  survey  prior  to  the  beginning  of  the  focus  group  discussion.  The   answers  to  this  survey  can  be  found  below.  Participants  have  been  assignment  a  variable  identity  (ex:   1A)  that  will  allow  him  or  her  to  be  referenced  later  in  this  document  without  use  of  their  actual  name.       Session  #1  (9:00  –  10:00  AM)       Name   Year   Major   Three  things  passionate  about   Two  ways  actively  involved  on  campus   1A.  Hannah   3   Bioresource  &   Ag  Engineering   1.  Working  out   2.  Friends   3.  Helping  others   1.  Sorority   2.  Ag.  Engineering  society   1B.  Yaroslav   1   Aerospace   1.  Space  exploration   2.  Swimming   3.  SSTO   1.  CPSS   2.  Lives  on  campus   1C.  Chris   2   Business   1.  Photography   2.  Psychology   3.  Music   1.  AMA   2.  New  student/transition  programs   1D.  Alyssa   3   Consumer   Packaging   1.  Outdoors   2.  Learning   3.  Packaging   1.  OCOB  mentor  collection   2.  KAO
  • 27. 25   1E.  Tiffany     3   Business   1.  Entrepreneurship   2.  Wearable  tech   3.  Equality   1.  Diff.  clubs/programs   2.  Runs  on  campus  forums  to  encourage   entrepreneurship  in  students   1F.  Alonso   2   Computer   Engineering   1.  Computer  assisted  design   2.  Programming   3.  Model  building   1.  Participate  in  clubs   2.  Attend  campus  events     Name   I  am  interested  in   being  part  of  an   innovative/creative   project   I  currently  lack   knowledge/skills  to   pursue  a  project  on  my   own   I  am  seeking  projects   where  I  can  develop  or   apply  my   knowledge/skills   I  am  looking  for  people   to  help  me  pursue  a   project  idea     1  =  Strongly  Disagree,  7  =  Strongly  Agree   1A.  Hannah   4   2   5   4   1B.  Yaroslav   7   3   7   6   1C.  Chris   5   6   6   4   1D.  Alyssa   6   4   5   6   1E.  Tiffany     7   3   7   7   1F.  Alonso   4   5   5   5     Session  #2  (10:00  –  11:00  AM)       *  =  information  unknown     Name   Year   Major   Three  things  passionate  about   Two  ways  actively  involved  on  campus   2A.  Elan   3   IT   1.  Entrepreneurship   2.  Problem  solving   3.  Design   1.  Fraternity   2.  Class   2B.  Vincent   1   Electrical   Engineering   1.  Renewable  energy   2.  Tesla   3.  Electric  vehicles   1.  Marching  band   2.  Formula  electric   2C.  Haley   3   Kinesiology   1.  Nutrition   2.  Supplementation   3.  Beer   1.  Research   2D.  Maggi   2   Nutrition   1.  Healthcare   2.  Healthy  lifestyles   3.  Art  appreciation   1.  Social  life   2.  Health  ambassadors   2E.  Delanie   2   History   1.  Health   2.  Wine   3.  Travel   1.  Surfriders   2F.  AnnaGrace   2   English   1.  Political  affairs/IR   2.  Women’s  nights/advocacy   3.  Fashion   1.  Debate  team   2.  WOW   2G.  Alexandra     2   RPTA   1.  Soccer/being  active   2.  Family/friends   3.  School/good  grades   1.  Club  soccer   2.  KKG
  • 28. 26   2H.  Leland   *   *   *   *     Name   I  am  interested  in   being  part  of  an   innovative/creative   project   I  currently  lack   knowledge/skills  to   pursue  a  project  on  my   own   I  am  seeking  projects   where  I  can  develop  or   apply  my   knowledge/skills   I  am  looking  for  people   to  help  me  pursue  a   project  idea     1  =  Strongly  Disagree,  7  =  Strongly  Agree   2A.  Elan   7   1   2   7   2B.  Vincent   7   6   6   5   2C.  Haley   7   4   7   7   2D.  Maggi   5   5   6   3   2E.  Delanie   5   5   6   6   2F.  AnnaGrace   6   5   7   3   2G.  Alexandra   4   5   5   3   2H.  Leland   *   *   *   *     Participant  Analysis   Overall,  our  sampling  strategy  worked  well.  We  successfully  recruited  participants  from  a  variety  of   majors.  Additionally,  the  participants  were  all  at  least  moderated  involved  on  campus  and  represented  a   wide  variety  of  interests.  However,  we  did  not  have  any  fourth  year  students  represented  and  since   creating  senior  project  groups  could  be  a  way  for  students  to  use  PolyProjects  their  insight  could  have   been  helpful.  We  also  would  have  benefited  from  higher  participation  in  the  first  focus  group.           Focus  Group  Findings  Summary   Research  Questions  [restated]   Primary   How  does  a  student's  major  correlate  with  his  or  her  involvement  in  projects?   Secondary   What  problems  are  students  facing  in  connecting  with  students  in  other  majors?
  • 29. 27   Common  Themes   The  participants  in  the  two  different  focus  groups  discussed  a  number  of  common  themes  and  ideas.   The  themes  identified  below  are  those  that  are  most  relevant  to  the  research  questions  stated  above.     Theme  1:  Education  inspires  ideas   In  both  of  the  group  discussions  on  what  motivates  them  to  get  involved  in  a  project  a  common  answer   was  that  their  classes  or  major  often  push  them  in  the  direction  of  particular  projects  or  ideas,  as  seen  in   the  selected  quotes  below.  This  specifically  addresses  how  a  student's  major  correlates  with  his  or  her   involvement  in  projects  because  it  shows  that  the  type  of  projects  a  student  connects  with  are  likely  to   be  major  related.  Furthermore,  businesses  such  as  Punch’d  (which  was  acquired  by  Google)  and  Jamba   Juice  (a  nationally  recognized  company)  were  started  as  Cal  Poly  senior  projects  (1).  Those  are  both   examples  of  how  classes  and  education  requirements  can  shape  project  involvement  and  ideas.     Time   Participant   Quote   05:45   1C   “I  was  inspired  by  something  we  worked  on  in  BUS  418  last  quarter.”   07:11   1A   “I  am  working  on  this  in  one  my  classes.”   10:14   2G   “I  would  get  involved  if  I  could  get  school  credit.”   10:20   2D   “I  was  thinking  about  doing  something  like  this  for  my  senior  project.”   33:06   2A   “They  could  make  this  idea  into  class  so  students  would  run  it.”         Theme  2:  Need  introductions  or  events  to  connect   A  common  difficulty  that  the  students  in  both  focus  groups  expressed  was  not  being  able  to  connect   with  quality  people  without  an  explicit  introduction  or  an  event  to  bring  them  together.  The  key   questions  in  particular  led  to  discussion  on  this  issue.  As  seen  in  the  quotes  below,  participants  either   identified  needing  someone  to  make  the  connection,  wanting  a  way  to  reliably  connect,  or  thought   connections  should  form  organically.  This  problem  is  particularly  relevant  to  students  connecting  with   students  in  other  majors  since  they  have  far  less  exposure  to  those  students  on  a  regular  basic  and  are   less  likely  to  have  someone  in  common  to  introduce  them.  The  idea  that  reliable  connections  come   through  introductions  is  not  a  unique  one.  The  online  magazine  Entrepreneur  suggests  going  your   personal  network  and  asking  for  introductions  as  a  first  step  for  finding  business  partners  (3).     Time   Participant   Quote   18:34   1D   “I  go  to  someone  who  already  has  connections,  like  professors.”   19:02   1E   “You  need  an  introduction  to  get  a  good  person  on  your  team.”   21:45   1E   “Here  there  is  only  an  event  like  once  every  two  months  so  I  can’t  regularly  seek   out  events  to  try  to  find  the  kind  of  person  I  need”     29:36   2D   “A  LinkedIn  but  just  for  Cal  Poly  students  where  they  could  say  what  kind  of   projects  they  want  to  get  involved  with.”   38:46   2A   “How  do  you  know  that  the  people  you’re  connecting  with  are  qualified?”   44:51   2C   “I  would  rather  meet  some  one  and  decide  I  really  want  to  work  with  this  person.”           Theme  3:  Professors  should  be  involved     Professors  play  a  key  role  in  connecting  students  currently  so  it  was  frequently  expressed  that  professor   involvement  in  PolyProjects  would  be  important.  The  participants  noted  that  professors  would  be  able   to  make  PolyProjects  successful  by  having  students  use  it  for  their  class  projects  to  make  them  more

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