Lean validation— Testing basic assumptions and the solution

At the beginning there was an idea: to prevent back pains and other injuries resulting from bad sitting posture by monitoring and reminding PC users by utilizing their webcam and computer vision. However, it does not make sense to work on a product, unless we are more or less sure somebody really needs it or will actually use it. This is why we had to test basic assumptions we have about our customers and the problem we want to solve.

In this first part of our CPS validation, we decided to focus on the Customer and on the Problem. The specific solution itself is not fundamental in this initial stage, since we count with receiving useful information from our customers and from their perception of the problem, which then help us in pivoting and refining the solution later. For a proper validation, we used the Javelin Validation Board as a framework ( you can see it in the detail).

In our particular case, we define our customers as those PC and notebook users who spend more than three hours a day in front of a computer screen.

Our basic assumptions were:

  1. People are aware of back pain issues
  2. People are aware of bad sitting position issues

Methodology

In order to assess these two assumptions we realized a personal and online survey. Here are two videos on the personal survey.

In the online questionnaire we asked 13 focused questions and collected 63 responses so far.

The survey is availible here:

https://goo.gl/forms/eH90u1YXVJ9Oddgv2

With respect to the thresholds we had set for particular questions, the survey results are suggesting that our basic assumptions about the problem and customers were on point. Bellow are listed some of the results, together with our Javelin Validation Board filled up for this phase.

First version of our validation canvas

Solution validation

After we declared our assumptions as valid, it was time to check whether an actual proposed solution was of some interest for the customers. We used two methods:

  1. Online survey checking people’s approach to using a webcam — key point of our application.
  2. Creating and spreading a landing page, purpose of which was twofold: A) To check interest in the product as such, B) to find out which platform (Windows, Apple, Linux or Chrome) potential customers prefer.

The selected results from online survey as as follows:

Out of 80 answers that we collected, 96% of people reported having a webcam of some kind. Another important question was level of concern regarding perceived privacy when thinking about a webcam. 43% of respndents reported being concerned above the level we set as acceptable for us (meaning they are moderately or very scared of potential abuse — very similar to other surveys conducted in this area), which leaves us with 57 % of people who are likely to become potential customers. On the left

side there are shown additional results, interesting being especially the fact that as we assumed, it does matter for people to know whether an application using their webcam is working offline or sends some data online.

Landing page

The landing page was launched on 11.4.2017 and even during the first day (when method of sharing was exclusively through facebook posting) we collected total of 50 interested people who, after reading the information, clicked the download button and did choose a platform of their choice. Obviously, the download button is not fulfilling its primary function, only real action people could do was to subscribe for future updates. The results so far are as follows:

However, us being suspicious about the way we shared the LP (Facebook posts) might have skewed the results, we executed also designed a targeted Facebook campaign with an actual budget of 30 euros. This campaign is still ongoing. But first we did an almost complete redesign of the LP to better convey the important information about the app, what it is, why it is useful and how it works.

Finally, the Javelin board after going through validation of the solution was updated to current form.

Javelin board version 2

Although the advertising campaign is still in progress and might surprise us with negative results, from other ways of validation process we can see that there clearly is an existing problem and customers, in the way we have identified. Therefore, we did not have to pivot so far, but we still consider the validation part of the start-up process as invaluable as it forced us to think about our product in a more structured way.

Thats all for now, wish us good luck in future phases!