MVP Journal Entry — Harrison

As a basketball player and a game person, MVP never referred to minimum viable product for me as it regularly means “most valuable player” in the game. So every time I start to use MVP as a term in our class, I have to undergo some shifts from “most” to “minimum”, from “valuable” to “viable”, which is really interesting. It strikes me as tricky because once it makes me feel like there is a guy who always do most of he could achieve to strive for the value but now, it is another person who just select the path with least resistance in order to make some of his idea just viable.

In this 7-week course, these 2 ideas “most valuable” and “minimum viable” came together as one for me because the “minimum viable” has a big possibility to be the “most valuable” on the way of prototyping and designing product. I applied this concept in designing DIAN when I noticed that to dry a shoes don’t require an extra machine but instead, the air flow from the hair dryer is an idle resource. So Tehreem and I just made a simple path to lead the air flow from the hair dryer into the shoes. The “minimum” material is transferred into the value of time, electricity and money saved from using other full sets of design.

If I had more time in this class, I will dive deeper into these prototyping tools like Invision or Adobe Indesign because I am fascinated by them the first time as I use it for DIAN now. I have been to many product companies, one side is all the male programmers and the other side is all the female web edittors and graphic designers. However, in these prototyping tools, many things are well combined to serve the designer without a line set between different fields. I guess I would make some effort to further understand and master these tools.

I am very proud of our teamwork. Tehreem and I collaborate very well, while she wrote these beautiful description sentences, threw questions to the interviewees smartly and came up with ideas like “coffee ground series” design which were full of style and the spirit of environment-friendly, I worked on the interactive document, graphics design and sticked to the idea of some easily made products but solves a real problem in the “minimum viable” way. Collaboration and personality really add to our success. And I should not forget to mention our creative( a little stingy ) prototype.

The most surprising thing for me is that along these 7 weeks, every idea we came up with. no matter how weird it was, there was always something already there in the market that did the something. The range of the variety of the product in the market is beyond my expectation. I guess that is why the idea of MVP is so essential to bring the question and goal to the essence of a product and reduce the cost as much as possible.

MVP:Final Journal Entry

I understood minimal viable product as a method of quickly prototyping when I first started this class. A prototyping method that used the minimal amount of resources, including time and money. It allowed a startup to quickly building a product and have a working prototype in a matter of weeks versus a matter of months. However, by taking this class I can see that this philosophy extends further, minimal viable product asks an innovator to look at a product at a very basic and functional level and also to look at it from the customers perspective. From the large list of brainstormed ideas our team was able to weed out the non-successful ones and really decide on a product that could be prototyped and could provide a benefit to a segment of the consumer population. We were able to look at our product from the perspective of the core benefit it provided, relaxation. Then we were able to design the prototype around this core benefit, thus being able to communicate this benefit to our customers without actually spending a lot of money creating an elaborate prototype.

We were able to thinking about our product and the prototype in a way the used the limited resources available to us while still delivering on the benefit that we wanted to provide. The prototype all be it was very simple, we were able to gather key information about how the customers experienced the same and what they would like to see in the future of the product. This will allow us to be more targeted with our development of the product. So that we are developing a product that consumer would actually like to buy and not a product that we think that the consumer would want to buy. The feedback early on allows our team to make more informed decisions about where we are putting our energy in development and allows key changes to be made in the business positioning of the product. We actually changed the target market for our product from individuals to organization because we realized there is a large upfront cost that many customers wouldn’t want to pay. Knowing this we are able to further develop a product that fits the enterprise sector better and add different features. Without this key change in development our product might have failed simply because it was positioned for the wrong market and we miss judged whether there was a market for this product. These types of mistakes and mitigated by the MVP process and allow us as developer and marketers to make more informed decisions about a product without putting so much energy and money into developing something that doesn’t have a market.

 

 

Minimum Viable Product: Final Reflection

This class is one that has really challenged my thinking and conventions on what it means to build a product. The term minimum viable product is now unpacks a lot more meaning and depth for me. Coming into this course, I thought it was one where we simply looked at startups and talked about them. To an extent, I was right, however it delves into so much more about what makes or breaks a company, and how every single company can be boiled down to one good or service; its minimum viable product. The development of a company has many determinants, which I learned throughout the past 7 weeks. These include marketing techniques, measures of demand, sustainable growth, prototyping and ideation, amongst many others. All of these concepts are what is behind the term minimum viable product and the full development of a commodity or service.

I wish I would have had more time to prototype my product, WEat. WEat is a media platform for food-sharing. Food-share isn’t necessarily a new concept; one can always start a group chat and get together with friends. However, as of now there is no successful streamlined app or service that specializes in this. Essentially, we set out to create the Airbnb for food. We were going to prototype through the following stages:

I was most proud of the journey both David and I went through in bringing our product from the ideation process to planning our prototype. I have learned so much about developing a product and taking it further from being just a “cool idea”. All the work we put into planning and developing our business model and product was very useful and a practical use of the knowledge I learned through readings and lectures. I was least proud of the fact that we couldn’t actually conduct a really developed prototype, because it was very difficult to find a reliable cook as many people were busy with midterms. In spite of this, we do plan on developing this further after the course ends.

If I had to pick one thing that surprised me, it would be how difficult it was to plan our our platform in a way that delivered the service we wanted effectively. This is especially because it’s difficult to find good cooks willing to be the dinner hosts and customers who are willing to interact and share a meal with strangers, especially because we are in China. That being said, I’m confident that with the marketing techniques and appropriate target audience, we could really create a great product for society.

As a whole, I really enjoyed this class and found the readings and lectures very insightful. Though I didn’t expect to, I learned a lot more than I thought I would, and found it very useful to apply the knowledge and concepts learned in class towards developing WEat. Furthermore, I also think that this class has developed my creativity and analytical thinking, especially when it comes to developing new ideas for the world.

MVP Final Journal Entry

Thoughts on MVP: I realized that there’s a difference in how one would prototype depending on whether the product is solving a pain point or creating a need. In a strategy class I took at Stern, we discussed the difference between exogenous products (demand cannot be created: you would only buy a shovel when you are in need of one) and endogenous products (demand is created, for example, a birkin bag). I think the MVP and its prototyping process for an exogenous product and an endogenous product is quite different.

  • Originally, we were solving a pain point (bad seating choices), and the MVP was more about proving a point, showing customers that their problems can be resolved with our product. And the prototype can be something unpolished, as long as it illustrates the point. It could have literally been a photo taken from different sections, that shows the perspective of the stage (and of course there are already people doing that).
  • Then our idea evolved into providing a more high tech pre-show seating selection process for super fans, who cares about more than just the seat, the view, but maybe also the audio, the choreography of a specific show. This significantly changed the way we would prototype. The prototype does require a more polished look, in order to create a desire/a need from the super fans, but offering something above the standards.

I wish we had more time to locate where the super fans reside. I would post a thread on the forum or wherever they hangout (probably gonna be a fake one, and just to see how many people click on it and see how people would react to it). The hypothesis that the super fans would have a need or that we would be able to create such a need, can be substantially validated this way.

The most proud moment (also the least proud moment actually) is when we switched business models and targeted at super fans as our main customers. (Least proud is because we missed out on stubhub when doing competitors analysis).

Most surprising discovery: super fans constitutes a rather small well, but a really deep one. The math we did shows that even if we only tap into the loyalest fans of a single artist, it will still be a significantly big revenue.

 

Journal – Ada

During the summer intern, an ITP person always says ‘let’s make our project an MVP’. And what we did afterwards, following her idea of MVP, was to cut a tons of features to make sure that the project can be done by the end of the summer. At that time, from what we were doing, is to cut features from a list of brainstormed features for a project/product to make it doable.

However, after this class, I realized that the purpose of a MVP is not to satisfy the time limitation but to present potential customers a minimal but viable product to collect useful feedback so that we can move on to further iterations. Additionally, it is not only the product itself, MVP also includes a series of plan about how to verify the product. With this whole process, we can tell whether our pre-assumptions regarding towards the product design is effective or not.

 

If I had more time, I would like to research more on the details of our solution. I would like to know the cloth size, temperature or different materials, the way to fix the cloth on the backside etc. Other than this, I also would like to talk to those who can be our potential customers and see if they can inspire us to slightly shift the idea, just like Christian’s backpack heat pad idea.

 

 

 

I am really proud of the teamwork we did in our group. As most of you may know, we are a group of three, so compared with group of two, we usually have a much harder time finding common available time slots to have meetings. However, we prioritize this teamwork class over other personal stuff. If anyone of us has to be absent, the other two will debrief the meeting information and that absent person will contribute as much as he can as a make up of his absence. This is probably the most enjoyable teamwork experience I have ever had. Ellen and Tony are amazing. <3

 

My most surprising discovery, in terms of we making this MVP, is finding out that it actually worked. We didn’t expect it to work as well as this. We just combine some little tricks we did in the past to make the clothes flat in an urgent situation, including make the cloth wet and blow with hand drying in restrooms, stretching the wet clothes before hanging etc. I do think coming up with a brand new idea will catch someone’s eyes but carefully described details will keep their eyes. And we need both of them.

MVP: journal entry

Before I began this class, I thought that “minimum viable product” means “ use limited money/ resources to make a real product”. After taking this 7-week class, I have learned a lot about how to start an idea from 0 to a viable prototype.

I think one important thing we were taught could be summarized as “user experience”. We are not making product for ourselves, so even though some products look cool, if there are no customers really appreciate them, the product would fail definitely. After brainstorming, each group had lots of ideas, but some of them cannot be developed so we have to delete them. This is the thing we need to consider when we are doing any products—to view the product from other people’s perspective.

Also, this class taught me to make plans before start doing prototype. For example, there are many innovators failing on startup in China because they don’t have a clear mind how much money they need for funding, where they could release the product and even some of them don’t care about if they have prototypes. A good prototype is an excellent way to show your product to people including the investors. Before I took this class, I used Sketch+ Flinto to do prototypes. But for the group work, I chose to use inVision to see how it works. I think the function in inVision is not as much as Flinto, but it is useful for the team working since it is easier to share and check the link.

By the way, it is very impressive to have field trip to feel how people works nowadays.

MVP Final Journal Entry

To be honest, I had no idea(or maybe just a little by searching online) about the term MVP — I just know that was a professional term in business to describe a prototype that has the minimum amount of the main and most important features of an anticipated product. Now, after 7-weeks class, I found my original thought was correct, but what I want to add now is that it is also a thinking that explores how can we have an insight of our target user’s pain points and how can we solve their problems efficiently. No need to think many features of our product, but just the ones that let the users feel no more problems. I can see the benefits from this —- the cost can be lowered down to the minimum, the time spent on communication between the users and us can be shortened to the least, and everyone’s productivity can be maximized.

If more time allowed for this prototype, I’d like to put the humidifier right on the place in our design that stands along with the main markerox part and have a mini humidifier in it. See the picture below:The difference between the one we made and our ideal design, was the position of the humidifier. Since we didn’t get the mini humidifier, so we just used the big one provided by Christian and we had to put it down to the floor with a very long tube to pass the vapor (see picture below) which was really annoying and inconvenient for us to conduct the usability test.

Fortunately, we weren’t influenced by the long tube this time.

 

What impressed and made me feel proud were two things. One was we laser-cutting the box prototype which was really helpful and efficient since we were in a hard time deciding what material that we needed to find to make the box. The other one was seeing the humidifier worked as what we assumed and expected. When seeing the vapor went out from the holes on the markerox (as shown below), we just thought that was half a success and what we could leave to the product itself was to see if the markers can keep available all the time by being in the humid environment.As what we mentioned in our presentation, there was a lot of time and money wasted just because of the markers’ drying out problem. And here I really want to express my gratefulness to Viktorija for doing the math to calculate all the number stuff. And I believe this data is really persuasive and powerful to show the fact existing in our real life. I also think people will be surprised by this calculation result just as what I acted when I saw this from Viktorija.

 

 

Journal Entry(David)

I first heard this concept in the foundation of finance class two years ago. Before taking this class, I thought MVP is a product that achieve an ideal effect using minimal sources/costs. I had never saw or experience a MVP in my daily life, not to mention actually develop one by my own.

The class equips me not only with conceptual understanding of MVP, but offer me chance to use MVP in a practical setting. For example, during the development of WEat!, me and Bishka keep asking ourselves”what’s the one feature that WEat! should have?” We start from this point to test other features. We initially thought our MVP would be a simple APP mock-up. It took time for us to realize that it could be simple to start with a real-time user testing (invite NYUSHers to have a meal together).

If I had more time in this class, I will definitely do more user testings and customer research. If possible, more interviews. I think these steps during the process are really fun and useful! Our previous interviews and target group researches really help us get more insights.

I am so proud of WEat! logo! hhh! It was awesome to find out that many NYUSHers are really interested in the idea through our conversations/interviews with them. In addition, listening to others’ presentation and ideas inspire me a lot!

In terms of the most surprising thing, for our product, it is hard to find a host. So, I realize that the idea could seems to be easy, but the execution take tons of time and efforts and include testing, re-testing. These processes are tough but super interesting!

Me and Bishka will definitely continue with our product’s testing!

MVP Final Journal Entry

Before starting this class, I had no idea what MVP was. I had no prior business background or interest. The curiosity behind the term was mostly what lead me to take it. The way I understand MVP now is that it is a way of finding a solution to a problem in the most effective way. By starting with the most basic features of a product, the effectiveness can be tested with the most minimum amount of wasted time and efforts. It helps to see if the basic premise of the product is effective or not.

Actually thinking about products in these terms was much different than reading about the process. I have noticed it becomes a pattern of thought that is more like a habit so once you understand the basic idea behind MVP you can apply it easily.

I wish we had more time to come up with more ideas for the project, Quintus and I really rushed into our final project without much thought. Regardless,  the experience turned out pretty great. I am really proud of the final working prototype. Figuring out different parts of the humidifier box was not easy but it worked out really well. Two thing were really surprising. One, the interviews which I did with people showed how our assumptions about others can be very misleading. I asked students about how they felt about whiteboard markers drying out and did not know it was such a contentious issue. People were annoyed and frustrated much more than anticipated. Talking to them also revealed that time is more of an issue than the students’ own writing. Secondly, while making the prototype Quintus and I assumed humid air would go up and we would have a problem with guiding the air in the right direction but we were wrong about that.

Here are some pictures from the process:

  

Ellen-Journal Entry-Assignment #7

Throughout the past 7 weeks, you have had an opportunity to ideate, prototype, present, measure and learn. In this journal entry, reflect on what you thought the ‘minimum viable product’ was before you began the course, and how your understanding of the term has changed.

We are doing H·EAT Shelf, to help solve the post-laundry hassle problem.

However, we have been struggling with thecore problem our product solving since the very beginning till the final presentation. We believe that there must be a need in the market and we have successfully verified that our tech works. But back to MVP, what problem do we solve?

For me, a minimum viable product should solve one single problem but apparently, our product has too many features. We adjust the way to describe the product and add/delete features along the way. Finally, it is settled to be the thing we have now.

  • we started as a substitute for the ironing board
  • after realizing we cannot provide the same service as ironing experience
  • we changed to a heating shelf that can store, dry and flatten
  • but that’s not MVP anymore
  • we took a step back and reconsidered the problem we ran into, it was not only about flattening or drying but the whole post-washing experience people have
  • therefore, we redesigned our product as  an integrated design of the post-washing solution (currently)

What do wish you had more time to continue working on?

To figure out what exact problems we can perfectly solve. Since this determines our final product, our customers, and ways of customer acquisitions. If we can start smaller, it could be more MVP as well.

What are you most proud of and why?

We do enjoy a lot of brainstorming time and come up with various new ideas. Anytime we ran into a problem, we can be there to find a way out. None of us has abandoned our original product. It could be easier to give up and find something brand new. But it could be way harder to keep improving a not most ideal thing. (on the hand,  we should think about changing the idea if the market is not attractive enough, that’s also why we did customer survey..)

Another thing is that I think our business model makes more and more sense now and I really enjoy doing that. Our discussion also did help me have a better understanding of the overall business strategy.

What was your most surprising discovery (if any!)?  

How hard it could be to start a business! So many things to consider!