Last Friday, our team met for a brainstorming session in an attempt to select a product for our TI:GER project. Our PhD works with a technology that has a tremendous amount of applications and narrowing our focus down to one (or a few) has proven to be a complex task. For now we have short listed 4 ideas and are working this week to research and trim the list down. These debates are dominating most of our team discussion for the time being. As we learned last week, conflict in the early stages of a project can help the team achieve higher levels of success. By struggling to reach a team consensus, we are putting more effort in selecting the best project to pursue and this should pay dividends later in the project.
In class today (10/1/2012) we received not only our Myers-Briggs results, but also a graphical representation of our team mates and class mates. Our results were discussed as a class (we differ from the national average in a few categories) and also within our teams. Once the results were handed out, we took 20 minutes to discuss the implication of our personality types within our team. In my team, for example, we are all N (intuitive) type. This means that we are all more likely to trust information that is abstract or theoretical and look for how new information fits in with other patterns. It is important to view this information as both an opportunity for success and a potential for failure. The opposite of this personality type (S) tends to be more detail oriented and prefers hard data to abstract stories. Venture capitalists and others to whom we pitch our business may be S types that will require tangible numbers to support our ideas. Knowing this is a potential area of weakness for our team, we will be taking care throughout the TI:GER project to pay attention to the details and look for concrete data to support our decisions.
For the second part of class, we met our legal mentor. Jonas Jarvholm, PhD from Ballard Spahr has offered his time to assist our team with any patent issues that may arise. With 4 years of patent agent experience, Jonas was able in our first meeting to provide some valuable insight on what exactly patent rights are and how these may affect our idea selection. We will be getting a better introduction to patent law next Monday during our first class held at Emory. For now, we’re focusing on our Friday team meeting with the faculty to make our initial elevator pitch. Look for an update on that (and our ropes course adventures at Berry College!) next week.