Here is the link for the final reflection: goo.gl/forms/T7XcuW3yuSwW4UoI3
Make sure you submit this as well as submit any relevant documentation for your project before you leave. Hope you all have a great break and I've loved having each and every one of you grace my class this semester :)
Whether you completed the small business project or some alternative project, every team is responsible for turning in some form of documentation of what you did. For small business projects, this is could be your Lean Canvas, a presentation with pictures of your MVP, and need finding notes. For an alternative project, this is likely a document with pictures of your completed project and which explains what you did/how it fits into the engineering design process. However, this is not what you have to turn in, as long as you feel whatever you turn in best meets the criteria on your rubric.
Here is the turn in link (allows for attaching multiple files): https://goo.gl/forms/nGA8MPQCfEEuy5Rr2
As we wind down with this year and with this project, here are the last things to make sure you finish up:
If you are doing the small business project
If you are doing an Alternative End of Year Project
Companies create business models to clearly define to their employees, customers and investors what their value is and how they can generate revenue. For our startup companies, there is a popular variation of a business model called a Lean Canvas that is specifically designed for the needs of a developing company. Its purpose is to help you to understand and frame your problem and your solution. The importance of filling out some organizer like this is that while in your head you may feel like you know all of these aspects surrounding your company, by actually putting pen to paper and writing them down you may discover you and your team members have differing opinions. Additionally, it is absolutely imperative to be able to concretely and explicitly define criteria such as those in this organizer to potential investors if you wish for them to take you seriously.
Creating your own Business Model/Lean Canvas
Upon creation of the Lean Canvas, you effectively have everything you need to pitch your startup! In fact, if you completed the Lean Canvas then you are a well on your way as it has nearly everything you need for your final presentation (see the resources section of my website for the rubric)
After making your MVP, the next step is to test your products viability i.e. seeing if people actually are interested in your product or not and what work is left to do. What this does not mean is that you are simply seeing if anyone wants to buy your product as is and for how much. The answers we are looking for are much deeper.
When you are doing this, it is important to be honest with yourself and not just seek to find whatever evidence which validates your MVP. It is completely acceptable if what you find from this stage is that no one likes your product and that they think it is pointless and ineffective. This is not the point. The point is to determine what is valuable about your MVP, where is your MVP not aligning with our original need, and where you can go next. If we were honest with our assessment of our need (and that’s ok if we weren’t, let’s just start being honest about it now), then there is a viable need which our product can address. It’s just a matter of pivoting (a fancy word for changing) our idea, whether this means tweaking our MVP or coming up with a completely new and drastically different idea and/or need.
It is expected that a startup company will go through many iterations of creating/modifying an MVP and testing its viability. This is why it is important not to stress too highly about making sure the MVP is a fully working prototype because it may just be completely scrapped anyways. In fact, having a refined MVP can even work against a company as if the individuals have spent significant amount of time/effort/money into making an MVP then they are less open-minded to the new possible ideas which address their need and require significant pivots.
What you are looking to learn when you are testing your product viability:
How to go about testing your product viability:
The next step would be to re-evaluate our need and our MVP and further iterate our product. If you do not have time for this and can only proceed with what you have, even if the evidence of the product’s viability is far from good, that is ok!
After completing our initial market research, we are ready to realize our idea. This will be done by making an MVP. In startup world, this is not the Most Valuable Player! Instead, it stands for the minimum viable product. A rough synonym to this would be a prototype, however, there are few subtle differences. An MVP will often use a lot of smoke and mirrors (tricks to make the product seem like its functional when in reality it just creates the illusion of being functional). An MVP is focused on determining what potential customers want/need in your product (i.e. what is viable) with the minimum amount of effort; an MVP is less focused on determining how a final product can be made but more on the why it should be made and what should be made. This is opposed to a prototype which is more focused on how an envisioned product can be made.
The following is a great link that briefly explains what an MVP is:
And the following link is another link worth reading about how to create your MVP:
What your MVP is will vary wildly from company to company, especially because some products are easier to replicate than others (for example, the cost and resource requirements of creating a store will vary wildly from making a phone application), so if you are having difficulties getting your head around a feasible MVP to make we can sit down and go over some possibilities. A couple meaningful questions to get yourself going though are the following (from Eastern Peak):
· What is your unique value?
· Which features are fundamental for the future product?
· Which features will ensure the success of your product and allow you to capture your target audience?
· What is going to not only help you stand out but leave your competitors trailing in the dust?
· Which features should be better included in later versions to save resources during the absence of a real venture capital?
The next step we will be taking will be to going back to market research and customer discovery, but this time with our MVP so we can further understand the need and define our product
When researching your market online, think of the following:
When interviewing potential customers or other individuals:
Congrats on making it to the very last unit! For the remainder of the year we will be working on our end of year projects. For this, you have a couple options:
If the startup project doesn't excite you, then we can figure out one of the alternative options, but the majority of the class will be working on the small business/startup so class notes will cater to this.
Starting off on day 1, we will be covering need finding. By this I mean finding a need that is worth solving and which our created companies can set out to fix.
Here are the notes we will go over: startupintro_needfinding_notes.pdf
Here is the short article we will be reading: www.businessknowhow.com/startup/need.htm
And here is the need finding activity we will be completing today: needfinding_activity.pdf
If you wish to do one of the alternative projects, the following is a word document of some of the STEAM projects and competitions I wish to accomplish at some point in the next year(s): end_of_unit_project_options.pdf
For 2nd and 3rd blocks*, we will be having our last test tomorrow (Tuesday)! Linked below is the review for the final test review, complete this and you should do fantastic.
*4th block, we have a weird shortened schedule Monday-Wednesday because of EOC testing. We will discuss our options today and I will post here the conclusion we come to.
We will be finishing the Arduino Projects for this unit This coming Wednesday (11/28). As you come to a close on your project, here are the two additional things you will need to complete: