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  • Writer's pictureRenate Matroos

Trying to get back into writing again

It feels so weird starting this blog and I will be very honest. I have been dealing with extreme procrastination. Okay now that is out of my way, I’m trying my hardest into getting back to writing about my classes. The third term started on February 4th and on februari 11th, I gave my fist class again.

This is already the third group I’m teaching and when people say time flies by, I’m pretty sure this is exactly what they mean. With the feedback I got from the first and second group, I decided to change some of the exercises. I came to the conclusion that I only wanted to focus on improving the students their business idea. So, I removed two exercises: finding your Ikigai and reflection. Those 2 assignments have been swapped with solving social problems (more about this assignment in my next blog) and examining unintended consequences.

With all the new technologies popping up everyday there are some consequences that weren’t intended at first. These consequences can be used as inspiration for new business opportunities and is one way of finding new potential. Maybe this example will make it a bit more clear. Netflix was supposed to be an easy streaming service, where you can conveniently watch movies and series in the comfort of your own home, but with this new service new behaviours emerged. Binge watching being one of them, where people watch a lot of episodes of a show in one go. While brainstorming, a new business model can be suggested. For example: changing the current business model to one where people can watch Netflix for free when they watch one episode each day or have a paid premium account for their binge watching behaviour. The new business model might not seem better than the current one, but when ideating new ideas there are no bad ideas. At this exact moment it might not make sense, but when there is a lot of competition it might make sense all of a sudden. By looking at existing business models, new ideas can create completely different business models which can turn into new business ventures. After the brain session I asked the students to think about all the new business models that came up today and think how they could improve their own business idea. By implementing bits and pieces of other idea’s you can easily improve your current business model, which will distinguish you from possible competitors.

I did run across some challenges this class. Even-though I was fully prepared, I did feel sort of rushed -for lack of a better word. It’s always different to start with a new class, not knowing how they will react to my classes. To be honest I started seeing a pattern in my classes. First class is always a bit rough: students don’t know what to expect from me and I don’t know how they will react to me and my classes. So, they’re a bit stiff, sometimes shy or just annoyed. Then the second class comes around, you see them being more proactive, being excited and more confident. Which makes it much easier for me as well. And in the last class they present their final product and give a presentation. That’s when their the most fun. You see them being proud of what they have achieved in short amount of time. That is usually how it goes, but it’s also possible to have a class that is just not feeling it... AT ALL. What do you do in than? Another challenge I faced that day when the students were working in smaller groups is that one group was doing everything so fast. They were always the first ones being done and than they would just sit there and stare ahead. It was hard finding a balance between them and the other groups.

As I said earlier I did feel some kind of way that day and I’m not sure what it was, which made it harder for me to get in the flow. This resulted in not completely being able to explain the assignments to the best of my ability, so I would often repeat myself. I felt the need to do that, because I would just see my students’ eyebrows form into question marks. So I would rephrase my sentence. When I see students looking at me like I’m some alien from outer space, I do feel like saying: “GUYS COME ON, I speak dutch, just like you. You can also tone it down a bit with the facial expressions. Thank you very much!”

A message to myself for the next class is: Keep it simple and don’t forget to have fun.

Thank you for reading this (long overdue) blog and I hope to see you in my next blog. Also, I would love to interact with you, so if you have any recommendations or questions, please feel free to email me at I would love to hear what you think about some of the things I write, if you can relate or if you completely disagree. I would love to know!


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