Star Struck — a story about discovering the answers for yourself.

Every startup pivots. This is ours.

Jun Loayza
May 2, 2017 · 4 min read

We were 11 drafts into our story about Steve Aoki. It was time to test it again with kids.

We presented the prototype to classrooms of 2nd graders and 3rd graders.

Maria reading our story to 2nd graders
Wilbur reading our story to 3rd graders

The kids thought our story was “meh”.

What we learned from presenting to classrooms

Reading from an iPad is different from reading from a book

How can we help parents read like Maria?

It’s important for us to help the parents be great readers. Our idea is to have a button that prompts the parent to ask the child a question: “What is your talent?”

The story is too long

We really need to work on cutting it down. Again, we knew this, but it was so obvious while Wilbur and Maria were reading it out loud to the kids.

The story cannot stand alone

Maria took the time to show us some of the kids’ favorite books. Many of the books greatly depend on whimsical, fun illustrations. The kids respond to the illustrations and ask questions about the illustrations.

Our story is too logical

We need to focus more on entertaining the kids.

Kids don’t care if Steve is a real character

Three things stood out to me from testing our prototype:

  1. Kids want to play on an iPad — not read stories on an iPad
  2. Kids love whimsical, creative, funny stories (I know, this is obvious, but we were pushing too hard to force our story to make logical sense)
  3. Parents and teachers don’t have a positive association with Steve Aoki

After speaking with the team, we made the decision to pivot in the following ways:

Our first story will be about Neil deGrasse Tyson

Star Struck

Wilbur felt that a big part of our struggle with creating a whimsical, captivating story was the character we had chosen. He took it upon himself to write a draft about Neil deGrasse Tyson and presented it at our weekly Braintrust — we loved it.

The team immediately knew that changing the story to Neil was the right decision to make.

Create the printed book and a companion iOS game

Here is a very, very, very rough concept of the game.

Concept for the iOS game

Launch the hardcover book and iOS app by the end of Q2

If you would like to support us, then you can help us in two ways:

  1. Follow this publication on Medium, Twitter, or Facebook to get notified when our story publishes
  2. If you know Neil deGrasse Tyson, then we’d really appreciate an intro

Dream on!

Humble Bee

Contemporary children’s stories about inspiration, art, and…