Pre-Diploma Math 9
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My Digital Portfolio by Leo Zhang
This is Leo’s Winter Market Reflection (PMSS Vulcan).
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Step 1 – Describe your experience:
I started a company with my classmate Ario. We sold customizable lava lamps because we thought they would be in high demand during the winter season (lava lamps will warm you up). Also, we thought it would be simple and easy to mass-produce them. Unfortunately, we did not anticipate the vast expenses we had to pay. However, this didn’t stop us, and we made a revenue of $78.50. This allowed us to donate $8.13 to charity. Although this is an almost insignificant amount, I believe that every penny will make a difference. Altogether, the winter market was a great experience for my partner and I. We pushed through the hardships and learned many lessons along the way. To sum it up, the winter market was a very fun and helpful experience that would certainly help me if I choose to start a business in the future.
Step 2 – Examine your experience:
Many business tactics were apparent during the winter market. I’ve had experience managing a business, and I can say with confidence that I learned more marketing tactics during this one than my previous one in middle school (fundraiser for schools in Africa). My business used many marketing and economic tactics we learned in class, such as designing our table to be visually appealing. Also, we matched both our product and our table to be in theme with the Christmas season. Some marketing tactics we used were lowering prices (telling them that we had a 60% off sale!), talking different languages (I spoke mandarin to the Chinese international students, thus closing some sales), and inter-marketing with other businesses (we shout out their business and they shout out ours). We also had an Instagram and email for additional inquiries or feedback. Economically, we networked with clients, asking friends, classmates, and mutual friends to come to visit our stand during the market. Additionally, if the customer was satisfied, we kindly asked them if they would like to tell their friends about us. Ultimately, many strategies we learned in class were executed during the market and proved to be helpful. We changed our approach multiple times during the sale. Firstly, since we weren’t selling many for $5, we decided to lower the price to $3, which ended up being a smart decision because we started to bring in more sales. Also, we adjusted the price to $1 after we broke even, to get rid of all our products. Finally, we sold 5 lava lamps for $3 to Mr. Valente because we were getting desperate and wanted to get rid of our products. Initially, I did not anticipate the number of people who came to our stand, but I did correctly estimate our sales. I noticed that many people thought our product looked cool but didn’t want to purchase it. As mentioned in my business plan, our (relatively) low base cost gave us pricing power over our lava lamps, enabling us to change the prices as we see fit. During the actual sale, we ended up doing this, adjusting the price multiple times throughout the entire market. Overall, many tactics and strategies were applied to great success during the market, creating a result similar to the one I originally anticipated.
Step 3 – Articulate Learning:
I learned many economic/marketing strategies and tactics during and throughout this sale. Additionally, I learned which ones are successful and in what scenarios are they successful. Most of my learning was through trial and error, analyzing which tactics and strategies work best. For example, I learned that networking with clients is far more important than digital marketing through social media, because networking with customers helps close sales, whereas digital marketing helps attract customers to your stand. With our product (the lava lamp), this was especially important because many people already thought our product was cool and visited our stand, but didn’t want to purchase it. Networking with clients ultimately helped us close sales and make a profit. It matters because it is the defining factor of whether or not we make sales. However, most importantly, it will help us in the future when the numbers are far more significant (thousands and millions of dollars) in case we ever want to start our own business. In the future, I can not only use the successful tactics I learned, but I can also learn from the mistakes I made during the winter market. To conclude, the experience was very important and helpful to me, because I learned from both my mistakes and successes.
Step 4 – Choose 1 Core Competency to reflect upon (Critical Thinking):
Overall, I believe I demonstrated this core competency extremely well throughout not only the winter market but also before and after. Firstly, we set goals and criteria on which sections would be done by each partner and when they would be done. Our team organization and knowledge of each other’s responsibilities is something that I am extremely proud of. During the market, we set goals for how many lava lamps we wanted to sell for the day and at what price we wanted to sell them at. Our overall plan during the market was based on breaking even at the end of day three. All of our goals were met (even exceeded), except for our final profit, which was slightly underwhelming. Finally, we stayed organized and recorded all of our inventory, business transactions, and donations throughout the winter market. The other parts of critical thinking were demonstrated correctly as well. Ario and I had no problem telling each other how we felt about each other’s ideas, as well as why. On the other hand, we could also take each other’s criticism well. Besides, we also asked Mr. Valente questions whenever we were confused about an idea or requirement. I believe this led to many of our successes during the market. Overall, I believe Critical Thinking was the core competency I expressed the best.
Picture of my Table:
Picture of my Product:
My favourite music video is Post Malone, ft. Swae Lee – Sunflower (Animated). Firstly, I think it’s cool how the style of the video is very similar to a comic book (the song is from a movie). Next, I like the animation itself, the artwork looks very clean. A subtle detail that I like is that the lyrics will pop up and relate to what’s going on in the scene. Most importantly, I like the song itself, which I feel ties everything together.
My favourite quote is from Michael Jordan. “There are no shortcuts”. I like it because it’s simple and gets straight to the point. I have a mentality that if you want to achieve anything, you need to work for it. I don’t believe in getting things handed to you. I like Jordan’s idea of not making excuses. Also, I believe that this quote applies to almost everything. Working hard is one of the most important traits to me because it’s something that I can always control.
My favourite picture is the first picture of a black hole (in the galaxy M87). It was discovered recently (April 2019), by the Event Horizon Telescope team. It’s my favourite picture because I feel that it’s a very scientifically important and historical picture. I feel lucky to be able to live in a time when humanity is progressing very fast. Plus, we have known about black holes for a long time, but have never seen a real picture of one. Lastly, I think the picture looks nice with the red hue contrasting the black. Overall, I like this picture because it looks cool, it’s important, and it makes me feel lucky to have seen it when it first came out.
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