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:
Sub plan for 11/16/18
I will be gone at a conference Friday! I will miss you all, but here is the agenda for Friday:
1. Work on historical technology project
2. Can work on Arduino project as well if want
For those students who do, please remind them to clean up and return their boxes to the appropriate cart at the end of class
I hope you all have a great break and I will miss you all!!!!
This project will be done in pairs. Before beginning you need to find a partner, get your VERY OWN ARDUINO BOX (!!!!), brainstorm some possible project ideas, and then fill out the following google form: https://goo.gl/forms/AURr3JvhyULThhOs2
Looking for inspiration for your project? The great thing about microcontrollers is that they are everywhere and can do anything (not just turn a light/motor on/off), which means that the challenge for coming up with a project is an overload of options. A couple quick resources that could be helpful are listed below:
Starting next week (week of 11/12) we will be beginning our Arduino projects! This will be done in groups of two and you each will have an Arduino box which is yours and only yours for the duration of the project –meaning you won’t have to worry about another block’s students messing up your stuff. This project can be anything as long as it relates to the programming and microcontroller knowledge we have learned up to this point. While I don’t want to stifle your creativity with this process, I’ve provided a list below for some projects.
After finishing and submitting the Arduino tutorial lessons in the blog post below, complete the following challenges as a right of passage before beginning the Arduino project:
Challenge #1: Use the Arduino’s ADC functions to print a digital reading from the voltmeter on the Serial Monitor Window
WARNING: THE ARDUINO CAN ONLY INPUT A MAXIMUM VOLTAGE OF 5 VOTLS. ANYTHING BEYOND THIS WILL BURN THE CIRCUITRY
Challenge #2: Use the Arduino’s PWM function to input to control the speed of a motor (or brightness of LED) through the Serial Monitor Window
Challenge #3: put the ADC and PWM together; vary the speed of a motor by altering the “knob” (potentiometer) on the power supply