Undergrad Research Project - New Idea Management

Spring 2013

Aaron Zhang
Seth Goldstein
Project description

Problem Currently, there are countless project management platforms each with a different set of tools to promote project productivity. However, almost all of them assume the project already exists and so limit their tools to facilitate projects already in progress. There are few, if any, project management platforms that cater to those with no management or group project background. This makes it extremely hard for those that have an idea, but do not know where or how to start building. In addition, most existing products assume that the humans work organize and collaborate best using linear structures, such as lists and gantt charts. However, the human mind is quite dynamic and flexible in nature and it is generally accepted that mind-maps would be a closer model to this, and would be easier to adopt, especially for small teams.

How we intend to solve it By focusing on the creation stage of an idea rather than the production stage, and by using existing research on how human minds organize things, we can create a project management platform that can provide only the minimum necessary amount of structure, leaving flexibility to use the platform in the best way for the team. We want to provide the correct tools for idea generation and cultivation without trying to enforce some rigid structure of how to use them (something we view as a mistake of many project management tools). An initial search on mind-map organization software showed us that there are nearly no bad reviews on them. For most people who have used them, mind-maps are much more intuitive to use than traditional to-do lists, and have a much smaller learning curve. Hence, there is less mental and time investment in the tool, which can be instead used for the actual product. Since ideas and projects often start with three or less members, we feel that this time saved can be significant, especially for a fast moving seed stage startup.

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