April 10, 2020
Empowering a new breed of Amazon Sellers – FIU & GOJA ecommerce entrepreneurship class​

Empowering a new breed of Amazon Sellers – FIU & GOJA ecommerce entrepreneurship class​


There’s never been a better time in the history of the world to be an entrepreneur. The Internet allows you to reach millions of customers and to grow as large as the infrastructure you can build can handle. Today a student with a good idea and an Amazon account can have a company can be an entrepreneur and can change the way products are manufactured can change the way problems are solved. Which is leading to all sorts of opportunities and I think Goja, FIU are at the heart of those potential opportunities when you put Amazon into that mix. When I met Walter I was immediately interested in the way in which we might be able to combine forces and think about how a new e-commerce environment, this new technology , and the existing 3D printing lab could all come together. Not only for design education but for education in general. Goja grew because we do many things from product design to internet placement. Professionals that understand how the internet works, how to optimize for Amazon and Google search, have a significant advantage over those that don’t, regardless of the profession. University students need to learn these skills. I was introduced to John with the purpose of finding a 3D printing space where we could develop products faster. John is a very innovative educator, very creative, and forward-thinking as to where education should go. When I explained to him how Goja develops products, why Goja grew, and what the internet means for commerce and retail. And John realized that his students should learn this skill. Two years ago I was on a panel in Washington DC, and one of the people on the panel with me was the head of HP global. He was starting this project to model the future of higher education in America, it was called building the campus of tomorrow. And we were invited to participate in this research project and so that’s when we approached the Knight Foundation for funding to work with MakerBot to create the largest 3D printing lab in the United States in an Arts and Design environment. This’s a first time I’ve experienced a 3D printing facility where the students were able to touch and feel and create in a flexible innovative way without restrictions. We offered every student a 3D printer, and as much filament as they want for free, to use whenever they want, for any project that they’re inventing. One of the great surprises that I got from working with these students was, how good they actually are at designing products. By reading reviews on Amazon, by listening to what the Amazon community is telling them online, were right away able to make a better product. And that speed of improving products is the future of e-commerce. Technology should be something that students approach they approach the equipment they learn how to use it, and they learn how to hack it. They understand failure as part of the process and not think about this as just a way to make a product but it’s a way to create a new form of Education. In the past you have to develop thousands of products in order to be able to recover the cost of development. But with a 3D printing facility and an Amazon account, you don’t need investors, you don’t need manufacturers, you don’t need anything else than a good idea, a little bit initiative to design your product and you’re in business. This was really faculty members and students coming together to form something new, and to form an educational model that really adapted to the real world. It wasn’t that we were creating things, it was that we were creating an ecosystem of learning, that would be adaptable to be the future of higher education in America. Education has to evolve to meet the needs of the future careers not the past careers. And when you bring 55,000 students from all over the world together and you give it the amount of resources that a university like FIU has, it’s a birthplace for great ideas and innovative ideas, and that’s what I think represents the biggest asset that FIU has right now. The young, diverse, really interesting population, just trying to figure out what education will look like in the future versus what it has to be or what it has been in the last 100 years.

14 thoughts on “Empowering a new breed of Amazon Sellers – FIU & GOJA ecommerce entrepreneurship class​

  1. Cool seeing Walter. Thanks for sharing this information. Gary
    • Cheers from The Detroit & Mackinac Railway 🚂

  2. Very impressive, Walter! You do so many wonderful things at Digital Goja and are certainly on the pulse of the future. Glad to see the interest you have taken in the future of education for young entrepreneurs. I bet there are even some old ones who would benefit!

  3. I agree in the sense that I am baffled at the amount of dislikes. I am striving to be a research neuroscientist, transferring to a university as a biology major, hoping to double major in Bio-Psych at a bachelor level with aims to get a masters in a branch of Neuroscience. This video inspired me to research the frameworks of 3D printing (even using a rudimentary machine at my house, for instance), as to utilize my artistic ability to complement my determination in the life sciences.. who knows, maybe there is a biotechnological realm of 3D printing awaiting to be marketed! Anyways, great video. I love the idea of utilizing amazon reviews to optimize products, in which can be prototyped in a casual manner with a 3D printer… a lot of practice, patience and perseverance will be needed.. but a MAGNIFICENT idea and inspiration. Cheers!

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