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Utilizing Design Thinking Approach to Increase Start-Up Project ‘S-MART’ Product Acceptance in Bandung Market

Michael Wijaya, Santi Novani


Indonesia is a currently thriving country with powerful economic potential (Santoso et al., 2018). In fact, according to the journal ‘Sustaining Indonesia’s Economic Expansion’ published by AT Kearney in 2018, Indonesia had exploded in GDP size by five multipliers compared to the previous years. The country is also cited to have the fastest economic increase among the G20 and is placed number 16 on the world’s most economically advanced countries (Santoso et al., 2018). Indonesia’s annual GDP growth fell in the range of 3.5 to 7 percent with a standard deviation of 0.7, providing stable growth for the country (Santoso et al., 2018). Abaft the tremendous success of Indonesia’s GDP in the past 5 years, lies several sectors that delivered the most prominent donation to the national GDP (in descending order): Trade, hotels and restaurants; manufacturing; and transportation and communication (Ndiame et al., 2018). However, the largest stable growth had been dominated by commodity-related and retail sector under the trade, hotels and restaurants segment (Ndiame et al., 2018). The large market size and stable growth peeks the author’s interest in creating a start-up project specifically in the trade sector. Annually, hundreds if not thousands of new ideas sprout in Indonesia, in a form of emerging start-up projects. However, considered a business of higher than high risk, start-ups have an extraordinarily high failure rate of 90% (Kalyanasundaram, 2019). According to Kalya in 2019, the reason of most failure is mainly due to the problem identification, solution generated, and management. On the late 2018, the author as the leader of a new start-up project in Bandung named ‘S-MART’ created a new sales recording product to be launched in the market. However, after conducting a pilot study to 30 customers, the acceptance rate was devastatingly low. The author’s dilemma was, he had spent all his budget on creating his last prototype. Complicatedly, the author was supposed to present his result to investors on early 2019. Hence, a low risk and low-cost solution must be generated. Design Thinking approach is an ideal choice to answer the author’s dilemma for its ability to generate superior solution with lower risks and costs (Liedtka, 2018). By the end of October 2019, the author aims to have officially launch S-MART’s product to the market. The author had utilized design thinking approach in his process of creating a revised product. After the product is created, the author conducted another pilot test consisting of interview and product trial with of 7.63 confidence interval which then be used to determine required sample size using 95% confidence level that resulted in 152 Warung sample to be compared with previous pilot study with no design thinking.

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