In what way have Rossi and Matheson shown an ability to identify an opportunity?
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Rossi and Matheson demonstrated that creativity is the best way of identifying a business opportunity. The idea of the Dirt-Market is a product of combined creativity by Rossi and Matheson who have different professional knowledge and skills. They collectively matched their professions when they hatched the idea of the Dirt-Market. Rossi, in his profession as a manager of a commercial construction company, objectively identified the problem of handling dirt and creatively came up with a probable solution.
His experience and creativity at the construction company enabled him to perceive the underlying problem of dirty logistics and innovatively concluded that the use of a website could effectively help in matching dirt sellers and buyers. His wife, Matheson, on the other hand, received the idea and grasped the opportunity after realizing that she could apply her skills and knowledge. Matheson has expansive knowledge and skills for she possesses a Ph.D. in Computer science and a master’s degree in business administration. With her knowledge and skills, Matheson helped her husband in constructing a website that enabled the dirt buyers and sellers to interact effectively in various locations. Based on their knowledge, skills, and experiences, Rossi and Matheson creatively identified the business opportunity of Dirt-Market.
In what way have the operators of DirtMarket overcome traditional mental sets, or thinking outside the box?
Traditional mental setups presume that classy professions are for the learned while poor professions are for the unprivileged in society. People expect Rossi to be advancing in managing mega construction companies for him to progress in his career and expand his economic capacity. Rossi should be creatively thinking about opening their own construction company for he has experience, knowledge, and skills that are essential. Also, Matheson having such a high level of education should be managing mega computer companies that lie within her profession. Despite such traditional views of career development, Rossi and Matheson managed to think outside the box and come up with an unconventional invention of managing dirt. Gorman argues that “learning to use more of your creativity will allow you to rekindle that spark of excitement about work, to be more confident in your ability to confront situations with fresh ideas and more innovative solutions” (2000, p. 73). Therefore, by coming up with the idea of Dirt-Market, which contrasts with the traditional expectation of career or business development, Rossi and Matheson managed to confront the situation and wave against the current.
To what extent do you think that Matheson’s having a Ph.D. in computer science and an M.B.A. helped her become a leader in the dirt business?
Since the problem that led to the establishment of the Dirt-Market company was inefficient logistics in dirt handling, Matheson employed her knowledge and skills in designing a website that enabled effective and convenient interaction of dirt buyers and sellers thus enhancing efficiency in the dirt market. The computer skills were critical in the Dirt-Market company because Rossi with his construction skills alone could have not managed to come up with the website unless he hires experts. Thus, Matheson’s abilities to design and operate the website are indispensable for the Dirt-Market company to run smoothly. Moreover, having a master’s in business administration is an additional capacity that enabled her to manage business logistics and operations as the company’s president. Combination of computer skills, which are vital in designing of website and interacting with the clients, and administration skills that give her the management capacity coincidentally matched the requirement of the Dirt-Market company. Hence, Basing on her qualification, Matheson exactly fit in the leadership of the Dirt-Market company.
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What might be a possible threat from the external environment that could hurt the business model of DirtMarket?
Even though the Dirt-Market company is exponentially expanding, the company faces an impending competition, which seems to be a possible threat. Because the company is very new in the market and the idea of the business is still remote to many competitors, Dirt-Market is thriving in an environment where there is no competition and this makes it enjoy the full privileges of the dirt market environment. According to Ghemawat, “competition is an external factor that has an overwhelming effect on the fate of the business because the world of the business belongs to giants who have potential to survive competitive business environment” (2002, p. 51). If other businesspersons are going to establish a similar dirt business, the Dirt-Market company will experience great competition that may hurt the business making it unprofitable. Therefore, the Dirt-Market company should brace itself for a competitive environment to survive and ride in the competitive business environment that is imminent. Since Dirt-market has illustrated that the dirt business is very lucrative to the extent that even professionals like Rossi and Matheson are getting into the venture, it means that any other profession can join and invest in the dirt market too.
To try out your creative thinking today, make up a joke about DirtMarket. (In this case, dirty jokes are welcome).
As I went through the “Hitting Paydirt” case study, Rossi and Matheson’s ingenuity could not escape my attention, and sitting there I thought, perhaps one of the Millennium Development Goals could have been, “dirt-free environment for all.” In Africa, where ‘flying toilets’ (human ‘cow-dung’ in plastic papers ‘flying’ to the neighboring ghetto), the dirt market would become the proverbial ‘golden goose,’ for such business opportunity is immense.
Ghemawat, P. (2002). Competition and Business Strategy in Historical Perspective. Business History Review, 76, 37-34,
Goman, C. (2000). Creativity in Business: A Practical Guide for Creative Thinking. New York: Axzo Press.