This past week in JRN 450, our class got to experience an innovative space right on MSU’s own campus: The Hatch. The Hatch is available free to Spartans to put their creative ideas into motion. (I didn’t even know it existed!) Starting your own business is costly and often requires large investments of your own to get it off the ground. The Hatch makes it possible to produce inventions and creative content without these costly start-up fees. It’s fully funded, and you get to work with creatives who are employed at The Hatch full and/or part-time. This makes it possible to implement your idea for a new app or website possible AND cheap.
Just sitting inside The Hatch, my mind started racing. Could I come up with the next big thing?
Short answer: no. Well, not yet.
We had been advised to come up with a creative media idea to pitch to the class while in The Hatch environment. My idea was something along the lines of making analytical software like Excel or Google Analytics more accessible to the right-brained, creative individuals pursuing careers in public relations and similar fields. I would do this by creating an online domain where (for little to no cost) individuals could virtually go through tutorials creating spreadsheets and inputing pivot tables themselves – not just by watching a tutorial video.
With PR moving toward a more analytical, data-driven approach, it is vital that all professionals are well-versed in the fundamentals of various software. This allows them to view and understand consumer insights quickly and efficiently. But, many in the field come with a background like me that is focused in journalism, and we often miss out on these courses and trainings that teach us how to navigate this data. So, something to make it easier to understand for those less analytically inclined would be a great thing to have. I mean, I struggle with this personally all the time being that the best way I knew of to understand Excel was watching Youtube crash courses and speaking to my analytical father. Haha. Solid idea, right?
Turns out, similar things DO exist. While they are a bit costly and less accessible to students, they are still out there. So, the idea was good, but I wasn’t the first one who’s mind it crossed. This does prove, however, that this is a legitimate problem and I’m not the only one seeking a solution. Just because it has been done, there may still be potential to do it better, or simply on a different platform that college students and young professionals can access freely or cheaply.
In hearing the rest of the class’s ideas, it was clear to me that not only was I surrounded by innovate individuals ready to spur change, but that there were many problems that still needed solving. And that’s all you need for the next big thing: a problem to solve. Who knows what you can accomplish. Here at MSU, The Hatch might be the catalyst to make a creative daydream a reality.