This has been the week of sorrow.

As Elly Penning has continued to remind me and Wesley Hitson: “We are the group that has stuck with our main idea since the beginning.” This is the week that made Elly question this statement and question all the progress we have made on our project up to this point.

Our idea has revolved around the following:

Exchange Me (sample name) lightens the load of university abroad offices by providing an all-encompassing, one-stop resource for their exchange students. We provide a website and affiliated phone application for students and abroad offices to seamlessly connect during pre-departure, arrival, exchange semester, departure and post-departure. We also provide all the necessary information for students when considering and experiencing an exchange program so that abroad offices can focus on the primary purpose of their jobs — finding and approving home and international program requirements.

We have brought this idea to many potential users and customers, and this week we received some disheartening feedback. Our research seems to have ruffled some feathers, and we have been asked nicely, but explicitly, to stop searching for the answers that we need. This is a reaction that we did not expect, and it leads our group to question what the impetus of this ruffling was.

We sat in the Lab and deliberated.

Is our idea still desirable?

Is our idea still worth it?

We know that students want this website. We know that they need the information. We know that the system that is currently in place is not fulfilling their needs. We know that our idea would improve this system.

This begs the question: have we ruffled feathers out of annoyance, or have we threatened people with a disruptive innovation that could cost them their job?

But this microscopic tell is motivating.

People are scared when things could be changing, and change is exactly what we want.

Our idea is not amazing; our idea will not change the world.

But our idea is useful, and it is needed.

So although this week started out with news that rocked the group, I believe we have come full circle and hardened our resolve.

We need to see where this goes.

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