It happens here: Consumer-centric Innovation in Charlotte and beyond


2 minute mindmap: New Year’s Resolutions by Nheeda Enriquez

Closing out week 2 of the whole resolution thing, I thought I’d throw in a quick 2 minute mindmap.  One of my resolutions is about working more with my hands, as I wrote about for Charlotte Viewpoint, but this mindmap is a simple brain dump on another related resolution: to eat better. Creating this helped me realize that I should put my vitamins in a place that’s easy for me to remember to take them.

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2-minute mindmap – My love/hate relationship with Starbucks by Nheeda Enriquez
October 13, 2009, 1:03 am
Filed under: 2 min mindmap, branding, retail and restaurants | Tags: , ,

It’s been a while since I posted a mindmap, and although this doesn’t really count as one, I did take a little coffee break today and documented it.  Starbucks is one of those places we all love to hate, yet hate to admit we love.

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2-minute mindmap – Charlotte Mission Possible edition by Nheeda Enriquez

I just realized I missed the deadline for entries after I got around to creating a mindmap for the Mission Possible project, so I guess I’ll post it here.  Maybe there’s a nugget of an idea in there somewhere for the folks who didn’t procrastinate like I unfortunately did.

In my original conversation with Steve Gunn, we talked about how framing a problem in a specific way makes it easier to solve.  In this case, a smaller, yet very real problem in the area of charitable needs is not actually getting more volunteers, but rather, how might we get them to commit their time consistently?

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2-minute mindmap: Consumption Smoothing by Nheeda Enriquez

I’m just now catching up on some back podcasts on Business Week, and I caught a curious phrase from an cover story from a few weeks ago that I hadn’t heard in a while: Consumption Smoothing.  It’s a strategy rooted in retirement planning, where you try to balance saving and spending behaviors over a lifetime so that when retirement comes, you can enjoy a lifestyle that’s on par with what you’ve averaged over the majority of your working years.

In the spirit of the 2 minute mindmap, I played with the notion of how this concept could apply in lots of different places that we consume.

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2-minute mindmap: Charlotte Restaurant Week by Nheeda Enriquez

In honor of Charlotte’s Queen’s Feast restaurant week, I decided to create a 2-minute mindmap to have fun with the concept.

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This topic probably could have gone on for much longer than 2 minutes and covered many walls.  I started to see 3 patterns of ideas emerge:

  • Feature improvements Ways to enhance the consumer experience of Restaurant Week via scheduling and restaurant selection tools, engaging marketing campaigns, etc.
  • Extended partnerships Mutually beneficial business partnerships with local institutions to bring additional revenue and visibility to other areas of the city.
  • Other “weeks” Applying the restaurant week concept to other industries, collectives, or social movements to celebrate and bring greater focus to them.

On a more tactical level, one of my favorite writers/economists Tyler Cowen offered a few strategies for Restuarant week in an old article in the Washington Post.



Renting as a business model by Nheeda Enriquez
June 8, 2009, 8:59 pm
Filed under: 2 min mindmap, retail and restaurants | Tags: ,

As a relatively new homeowner, I’ve spent some time thinking about the personal economics of renting vs. buying.  Yesterday, during one of our weekly pilgrimages to Home Depot or Lowes, we were in the market for a 20′ ladder, but not so much the $250 price tag.  I briefly considered alternative solutions, including renting.  Here’s a Monday 2-Minute-Mindmap capturing the mental scan at the time.  Lots of companies may be having a go at the rental business model, especially in a tough economy.

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My favorite idea from this: a neighborhoood Spring Cleaning Olympics!



2-Minute Mindmap: Professional Wedding Guest by Nheeda Enriquez
May 18, 2009, 2:38 pm
Filed under: 2 min mindmap | Tags:

guest2I’m back in Charlotte after attending another set of weddings (3 in a week!)  And while all of them were fun, I’ve had time to consider a career as a Professional Wedding Guest.  The wedding industry has always been a showcase of new ideas, so that’s the topic of today’s 2-Minute MindMap (2MMM = my combo of brainstorm + blast of things I’ve seen  recently.   I use these to demonstrate the fun of lateral thinking.)  

You have unique needs when you attend a lot of weddings.  What can you build a product or service around?

  • A name change service for new brides makes a nice shower gift.
  • Hire guests if you don’t have enough friends and want to impress others.
  • An intentional area for professional photos where the bride & groom can also greet each guest.  Purchase photos like you would at a cruise instead of favors.
  • Dancing lessons for the guests at the rehearsal dinner.