Our four groups have put their thoughts to pen and sticky note.. But we're not there yet, not even close!
New Ventures Studio's Young Entrepreneurs have been building a set of hypotheses to challenge the problem they are all trying to solve while finding a market that will pay money for them to solve it. It's called the product/market fit and the Sweet Spot is where you add your VALUE.
Building on the lessons learned during our 2-day Introductory workshop with Abe Oliver from TSiBA. Let's take a look at their initial thinking:
Group 1:Sourcing reliable household services like gardeners, electricians etc through a mobile and/or web based app.
A business is nothing without a customer - Group 1 has initially identified Home Owners, Rental Agents, Rentors, Service Providers and Small Businesses as their Customer Segment. What is also important to note is their identification that not everyone is "tech-savvy."
This will have to be flushed out when meeting with potential customers.
Group 2:RSA's failing education system; in particular Maths.
This group has already made their first major iteration! They have decided to change their business model to initially focus on only one subject - MATHS. Dreaded by so many young learners, their channels to market have still remained fairly unchanged; Facebook, App Store, Schools & Institutions.
There's already a small school on our campus - I wonder if they'll start by asking them questions?
Group 3:RSA's growing water crisis.
Initially this group struggled to define what their problem, solution and value offering would be. After deciding to address the issue using a DIY water recycling system -They hypothesised that they will make their money through product sales and installations.
It will be interesting to see what customers are willing to pay for this and if water saving is really a pain in their daily lives!
Group 4: Traffic congestion during peak hours.
Electricity. Mobile. Privacy. Closed. Shelter from Winter. Wait. WHAT?
This group has gone full circle. Struggling to find a business model from the pains of traffic congestion - they went out and found a new problem: Prime retail space rental for street vendors.
Their task is now to go out and interview those selling products informally and ascertain whether there is pain in not having a "home-base" from which to sell - and who will pay how much for them to be there.
As you can tell we've got some really interesting problems and potential solutions. But one thing we are really instilling in these Entrepreneur's is that an idea is nothing without validation.
No business model is created within four walls. Customers, Suppliers, Key Partners - these are the people who are experts in the market pain Entrepreneurs are trying to address. After a some recap videos and customer Development tips, we sent them all out to test the market. Yesterday afternoon they all had to "GET OUT THE BUILDING" and interview at least 5 people per group member to find out if there is value and/or feasibility in their initial thinking.
This morning they will be presenting for 10 minutes on their interview findings and discussing a summary of changes made to their business model. Stay posted to find out what they came up with.
We've already ordered the next few sets of sticky notes!
NOTES FROM THE DAY: Customer Development Questions
What do you do professionally?
Who handles [process you’re improving] at your home/office?
Tell me about your role at [company]?
How much time do you spend on [process you’re improving]?
[Specific questions related to your product/customer] – for example, do you have kids?
Questions to validate your hypothesis about a problem, or to learn about problems.
What’s the hardest part of your day?
What are some unmet needs you have?
What product do you wish you had that doesn’t exist yet?
What tasks take up the most time in your day?
What could be done to improve your experience with [process/role]?
What’s the hardest part about being a [demographic]?
What are your biggest/most important professional responsibilities/goals?
What are your biggest/most important personal responsibilities/goals?
If your customer did not talk about the problem you wanted to address, use the below questions to begin validating/invalidating that your customer has the problem you think they have. In addition, it’s often not enough to just solve a problem, sometimes it also needs to be one that people are highly motivated to solve. Some of the below questions can help with that too.
Do you find it hard to [process/problem]?
How important is [value you’re delivering] to you?
Tell me about the last time you [process you’re improving] – listen for complaints
How motivated are you to solve/improve [problem/process]?
Source: Mike Fishbein (http://mfishbein.com/the-ultimate-list-of-customer-development-questions/)