At the University of Oregon I studied entrepreneurship through the Lundquist College of Business (one of the best entrepreneurship programs around I'll have you know!). One of many required courses called for me to develop a business concept, and pitch it to the class for consideration of development into a full fledged business plan.
This was right at the time of the iMac introduction from Apple which turned the desktop, and later laptop, market on it's head. I went home every day and looked at my boring pc...why is it so ugly? Does it have to stand out so much?
So I wrote up a brief concept. Take the PC and make it blend into the homes surroundings. The look of natural materials like wood, geometric shapes, monitors integrated into home furniture, any color you'd like. A part from the product, the plan was also solid as can be.
So what came of it? I was told computers are commodities. The prices are coming down, no one will pay more for something that looks cool. It will never work, forget about it. So I moved and joined some other shot-down classmates to develop a business plan for a dot com.
Imagine my joy when I read this from the NY Times (free subscription required, and they don't spam). Validation, finally! What do my teachers and classmates think of the idea now?!?
So would you pay for a computer that looks like the above? Anyone want to invest?
-Jeff the Great
P.S. Wondering what type of business plan my group ended up working on? A jobs web site for k-12 teachers. Ya, that worked out REAL well!