Value Proposition ‘Canvas’
Completing a Customer (Segment) Profile and Value (Proposition) Map for graduate student customers of Canvas’ digital platform & services provided me with two key takeaways as a digital service provider:
I. Point of View versus Insight
Very soon into the Value Map exercise, I was reminded of Marshall McLuhan’s The Gutenberg Galaxy:
“A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding” .
This quote is a handy summation of one of my key takeaways from this activity, which is the importance of framing when assessing user acceptance of a [digital] offering. Very soon into identifying pain relievers for this exercise, I discovered that a single service could produce multiple use-cases for customer pain alleviation, with some only visible and easier to identify through insight I had as an extensive user of Canvas’ digital services (4 years of graduate use at Harvard and UPenn). Approaching how exactly Canvas’ products and services alleviated customer pains, from the point of view of thinking through this assignment and completing the task, yielded different results from those I produced after I focused less on the substance of the task, and more on recollecting my personal positive and negative experiences using their product. Tapping into these experiences allowed me to deepen and broaden my perspective of the permutations of frustrations, fears, and risks faced by Canvas’ digital service customers, an achievement made virtually impossible without insight.
II. You’re Always Wrong!
After distilling vague responses and commentary into concrete, concise thoughts, I observed that my final commentary bore little resemblance to my initial interpretations. As “view grades online” transformed into “plan and manage in-class academic performance”, I am further reminded of the dislocation between perceived needs and proven/tested needs, and the importance of reconciling the gap between both.