Go out on a limb & test its strength

After reading about the Sprint process in detail, I totally bought into it. The thing I found most intriguing was the randomness of the whole thing. I tend to think of myself as a organized and strategic planner. I like to brainstorm all the possible ideas, the sift through them and find the absolute best one. So knowing this about myself, I was absolutely surprised that I felt as though a Sprint would be effective for me. The reason I think it mostly would be effective is that if pushes me out of my comfort zone and out one a limb. Now it’s not just any limb. It’s a limb that my startup team hold the metaphorical safety net below. In other words, the entire process of a Sprint consists of checks and balances and bouncing valuable ideas off one another. This exploratory and dynamic process is something I would never have come up with in a million years; however, it’s one that I think is almost bound to work for the sole reason that it pushes you out of your usual rut.

I think the biggest thing our team would get out of a sprint at this point would be a unified perspective. I think being able to see each other’s “sketches” and differing ideas would truly benefit us because it’s not usually our individual ideas that are stand out as different in the app world, but when we combine all our perspectives and passion it becomes something really great. This is something all four of us I think realized from watching each other’s elevator pitches. I felt as though everyone on the team picked a different part of the app to shine and if we had had a sprint or even if we had one now, the marriage of all those amazing ideas could make our entire application stick out.

Another portion of the sprint I think we could really benefit from is the making of a prototype, so I am very excited for the upcoming portion of the project. As easy as it is to say that we can merge all our ideas to make our app the best it can be, I feel like at this stage the app itself is so abstract, even to us, that’s it’s easy to get ahead of ourselves with all these real world feelings. Because when it comes down to it, feelings mean nothing if we can translate them to our users. And ultimately if we cannot translate our why there won’t be a reason to download our app in the first place. Being pushed to think about the opening stage of our story board will do us wonders as a startup.

Moving on to the idea of customer development, the major difference between product development and customer development is the fact that you are not designing a product then building a customer around it, or trying to at least. Instead the goal should be that you have a customer that you’re designing the product for. To me, this is what customer development truly comes down to. At every point in designing a product you should ask yourself is this product for my customer or is it for me as in the company. And testing those assumptions you’re making about your customer becomes so important at this point in time.

For our startup specifically I plan to test these assumptions by breaking the bounds of who we are as the co-founders and break into the real students on campus. Even just to start by asking them does this application sound interesting to you? We realized something on Thursday; our startup group is very similar when it comes down to it. So getting out there and testing our assumptions with other real students is everything before we go further and make and app that students won’t find useful.

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