I am very excited to say that Eatome’s prototype app is ready before time. This gave us the chance to test it before the trade fair. From all the hassle of preparing for the trade fair, having our prototype time app in hand is a big relief. The app frame work meets our requirement and all the team member are very happy with it.
As I learned in my last lecture “don’t wait for a right moment to start promoting, start as soon as you can” so we are going to go with theory, instead of waiting for the trade fair the team has decided that we are going to start interacting with our potential customers to take their feedback on our app and also to get as many sign ups as we can before the trade fair.
So when we launch at the trade fair we will already have a “Eatome” community and we can use trade fair to add on to that community. We have decided that we will start promoting our food buddies as they are the heart of our business. We will take the sample food from our food buddies as promote it during the trade fair so we can take feedback from our potential consumers and also check the demand of the food as well.
Apart from that we will also have our website up and running which we will use to get sign ups, we are also going to have a Eatome banner for the marketing purposes. Our marketing director is also designing flyers which we are going to handout in the whole of our campus and other campuses as well to drive traffic for the trade fair. I will keep you up updated with what happens during the trade fair, how did our launch go and wither people liked our app as well as the sample food or not. Until then goodbye and stay tuned…..
Real People, Real Food , Real Home
It’ s been a while since I last posted a blog. In my previous blog, I mentioned that we finally decided what exactly do we need in our App, how many screens do we require etc. After struggling to find a web developer in UK, we have finally found a web developer in Pakistan, which a friend introduced to me.
We have explained all our requirements to the developer and he is quite positive that he can develop a good quality app frame work for us within two weeks. Now things are looking good for us as in two weeks’ time we have a trade fair.
This is a very good opportunity for Eatome as we can utilise this to launch Eatome as we will have our prototype app ready to show our potential customers and take feedback from them as well as a good way to market our brand.
As of now as a group we have finalised our business idea, researched and validated the idea and have found a developer for our app. The progress of the group is really good. We have decided that we are going to have 7 screens for our app.
First screen will be the login/ tutorial page of how to use the app to make it convenient for the users to get how to use the app before signing up. Once logged it, it will then go on the location page in by using which users can put in their postcode and it will locate the near-by cooks for them which will appear on an interactive map.
Third page will show a interactive map with small home icons. These icons show where a (food buddy) is, the profile of the food buddy. Then user can then select the food buddy according to what they want to eat at their desired distance.
Once a user have selected a food buddy, they can then place the order with the require quantity and time they want the food to be arrived. Once this is done, the final payment page will pop up. Once the payment has been made user can track their order and see exactly at what stage and where their order is.
In our last meeting, we decided our companies’ name and the business model we are going to use for our business. Now we are going to find and contact as many app developers as we can to get out prototype ready. Each member allocated a task to do for next meeting, as I am the operations director I was responsible of finding the app developer. I contacted few developers in UK but they were very expensive, so I contacted a friend who knows few App developers in Pakistan which he is also using for his business.
I contacted that developer and explained him my idea and what I am looking for in my app, after the discussion, he understood what I want but he wanted me to email him a pdf file with the rough frame work I am looking for including the number of screens I want, logo and colour scheme. Once I send him this frame work he will able to give me a quote.
In our next meeting, we are going to discuss the colour scheme we are going to use for our app and logo and all the other things that we need to provide the developer.
From our survey which we did on our Home-made food app idea, it was evident that there is a potential for such a business idea as people do lack the taste of home-made food epically people who do not know how to cook and have to rely on fast food or other food alternatives which is not healthy and can be very expensive.
Now that we have decided the business, it was time to select a name for our company different name idea was thrown on the table but nothing really caught our attention. We wanted something simple yet affective. So, after a lot of thinking we decided to simply call it “EATOME” this explains what we do and it is very simple for people to remember.
We are going to use UBER business model to attract both suppliers and customers. We will use interactive map in our app which will locate the locations of people cooking nearby, as well as the profile if the cooks including their ratings.
Our next is to find a app developer to get our prototype ready which will help us to explain our idea more conveniently and it will also help us in our mock dragon’s den presentation which is approaching soon as well.
Having researched the 3 ideas from the last meeting, my group and I wanted to create something that provided people access to home-made food. We chose this as international students may crave home-made food but have no means to get it other than to go to a restaurant to get a take-away, this is may not be a healthy option and can be expensive.
My grouped proposed an app for this problem, the app would work as a bridge between the students and someone who can cook that food, and wants to be self-employed but may lack the resources to do so.
However, before pursuing this idea any further we decided to see if student did actually want this and if there was an actual gap in the market for our app. To do so my group and I created a survey to research the food preferences of students around campus. There were 200 participants in our research, this further enforced what I had learnt in my prior lecture to test at least 100 participants before going forward with an idea. Furthermore having a larger sample means that it will be more representable and we would be able to generalise the results more accurately to the target population. The question in our survey included asking the participants if they preferred restaurant or home-made food as well as how much they are willing to pay for it.
After conducting our research, we acknowledged that there is a need to home-made food as people do miss it and are willing to pay quite a bit for it, this was shown as the participants chose the higher end prices. From this we can conclude that there certainly is a need for this in the market.
As a result of our survey it was clear that we should develop this business idea.
In my next blog I will explain how we are going about planning this idea and some of the problems we’ve identified with this idea.
To build upon the previous lecture we about “body storming”, by having a first-hand experience of a problem to make a product more sellable, we were put into groups. The exercise for today was to list problems each of us were facing and to come up with a way to solve them.
My group faced problems such as finding it hard to find healthy or vegan food, finding cheap office spaces or spending a lot of time at the salon waiting.
After we had listed our problems we began to discuss possible solutions for them.
Once we had finished discussing we listed the top three problems that we wanted to solve.
Unlike the body-storming exercise last week there was no need to do an experiment since we already had personal experience.
Each member was assigned to one of the three problems and develop it into a business idea. We were asked to research to see if there was a gap in the market for it.
My next blog with further dive into the idea that we, as a group decided to forward with.
In the session, today we used lean design thinking theory along with “Body storming”. Body storming puts an emphasis on empathy as we have to put ourselves in the scenario, by doing this we are able to come up with a better solution for the problem as we experience it first-hand.
In class, we had to come up with ways to ease the problems disabled students, in this case those in wheelchairs, may experience. In groups one person sat on a chair whilst the others pushed that person around campus, by doing this we are able to simulate the experience of a wheelchair user.
I volunteered to be the student for my group. The initial problem I faced was with opening door, as they were too heavy for me to open and from this we could learn that it may be hard for a wheelchair user to push doors and move around campus.
Further along I came across a disabled elevator, my group and I decided to you this to see how easy or hard it was to operate for a disabled person. The button to call the elevator was right next to the doors, as I pressed the button the doors immediately started to open towards me at a fast face that I almost hurt myself and had to jump off the chair. This is a clear issue that needs to be addressed and one that may not be obvious to others.
After experiencing several issues, we came up with a few solutions that will improve the commuting experience of a disabled person within our campus:
- All doors should have a disable push button to automatically open doors.
- The button to call the elevator should not be too close to the lift
- There should be a warning sign to indicate the area the doors open to, so the persons using the lift are at a safe distance.
From the session, today I can conclude that it is very important to experience the problem to have a deeper understanding on how to best solve it through a business idea. By doing this you can come up with a more personal and realistic solution that may have been overlooked such as the incident with the elevator doors opening too fast, something I wouldn’t have noticed if I was not in the situation myself.
Almost got crashed by the door!!
We used this same technique without our group to come up with our business idea for this module which I will further discuss in my next blog.
The process behind design thinking and how to utilise it in our own ideas was the focus of today’s session.
Tim Brown proposed that design thinking differs from the typical linear process. Design thinking process involves different stages, the first of which is “empathy”. I personally found this to be very interesting, as to come up with a sellable it needs to add value to its customers. A problem can be best solved by showing empathy towards it then thinking of the way to solve it.
By using this as a framework we can identity a problem based on our observation of people and then try to find a solution, though this may seem chaotic, the process delivers results.
After going through all the design thinking theories, it was time to put them into practice. We were given the task of finding out any problems the students faced in regards to their shoes. My group and I began to investigate this by asking the students. We discovered that ladies tended to carry an extra pair of shoes if they were wearing heels as the heels became uncomfortable for them regardless of the quality of the shoes.
From the data we had collected and having had discussed the problem in our group we came to the conclusion of making a new type of heels. Our proposed heels would be able to transform and bend into a regular platform shoes. By doing this, girls will no longer have the need to carry an extra pair as they would be able to transform them into flats and keep on going through the day.
The things I took away from today:
Being confident to get out and ask people.
Design thinking is centered around the needs of the users.
It is important to have a good sample of potential customers (at least 100) before pursuing an idea.
After taking a hiatus I’m excited to be writing again and can’t wait to share my experience of the course. In my first lecture, I was given the opportunity to meet and interact with people from the MA creative and economy industry as well as getting to know my class. In this session, we were asked to come up with an idea that would enhance the student learning experience on campus.
This task not only worked as an icebreaker but also showed me that an idea can be constructed in 45 minutes. After being assigned into a group with 3 other MACE students, we began our research on what problems students face and how to best solve them. Once we had conducted our research we found out that students needed an area where they could freely interact with our studentsoutside their campus.
After bouncing ideas around the group, we came up with “Casita”. Our Casita would act as a social area with screens for students to watch documentaries, as well has having a mini kitchen for students to heat up their food or make coffee. We decided to include this as it would help students to save money since a lot of students live on a low budget.
Things I learned from today’s session were:
· To focus on one idea at a time.
· Fail quickly
· Not be afraid to try out wild ideas
· Being open minded
· And of course, there is no such thing as a stupid idea
Until next time… 😛