It’s a pivoting time #1

Have you ever got into some task so exciting that you just start concepting and doing it right away? Sort of that happened to us with our project. We all were so excited of our new project and its problem to be solved that we jumped right away into concepting the solution. After the first couple of weeks of intensive brainstorming we ended up producing our the very first sh*tty prototype at last Saturday’s Demola Jam #1 (see more in the previous blog post) and the feeling was great because we had actually done something concrete already in the so early stages. Well, for me that feeling lasted only a one day. Day after Jam #1, on Sunday, I was thinking about our sh*tty prototype and then I got struck by a lighting. Wait a minute, I have seen this before somewhere else, I thought. A little Googling and I ended up thinking that oh sh*t, we are inventing the wheel again because nowadays modern business / company dashboards happen to offer a pretty same type of features and abilities we have been concepting these couple weeks. But what do you do when you realize that the product you have been concepting so excitedly already more or less exist out there?

That question is actually the game changer also in the real life companies and startups. If you realize that your product already exists, it’s not going to work or end up with some other problem you definitely DON’T give up and throw your concepts to the trashcan! You learn what you have done and PIVOT as it’s said in today’s startup world. If you master the pivoting your epic end-vision can still come true. Sometimes you might even have to pivot many times before you have the diamond in your hands. Like it was presented to us in the Jam #1 you have to first find a rock containing the diamond and then refine it couple times to get the actual precious diamond. But what’s pivoting? Well, let the man behind the word explain it himself:

So what have we learned and where are we going to pivot next? To start with, we should always do some competition research as soon as possible to see what others are doing so we don’t waste time doing exactly the same. Thanks to agile development methods used also in the Demola projects it shouldn’t even be possible to spend like 18 months developing a new product and realizing only in the end that it’s just not going to work. Next thing for us is to have a brainstorming session focusing in how can we use existing products as a benchmark and truly make our product next level and so much better as competitors’. There have already been some thoughts about that we could focus on, for example, user experience to make interaction with the product unique and fun with some new interesting methods in addition to the touch screen. But if you see us running around the streets of Tampere asking crazy questions please don’t call the police, we are just pivoting as seen in the video below!

-Constantly pivoting Aapo


A pivot is a “structured course correction designed to test a new fundamental hypothesis about the product, strategy, and engine of growth.” x

Advertisements

Jamming at Demola

img_20161001_142647

Yesterday, our team spent almost eight hours participating in Demola Jam #1. Our day was full of workshops, talks, and of course, good company!

The day started at half nine in the morning and for a Saturday, it was early. Luckily, Demola offered coffee and tea for the jammers, and the actual program didn’t start until ten a.m. so everybody had some time to gather themselves up. When the day officially got started, we began with a brief stretching excersice and it was a good thing we did that so the coffee wasn’t the only thing keeping us awake.

The first thing we worked on was Löylykauha. Each one of us picked an everyday object and listed its attributes. I chose a coffee mug – coffee was still the only thing I could think of – and my attributes were sufficient volume, big handle, bright colours or a nice picture, and a ceramic material. Next thing we did, was to think what those attributes offer. I got functinal design from the volume, handle and material, and aesthetics from the colour or picture and material. Next step was to think what values these offer, why would someone need or buy this product? I ended up with the following values: better mornings, relaxation, and offering beverages to friends and family which in turn offers a better quality of life. Once we were finished, we compared our objects and values with a pair. I did this with our project manager Antti, whose object was a coffee thermos, so apparently I wasn’t the only one thinking of coffee!

After this round of Löylykauha we got a harder exercise: we were to apply this method to our own project. Each team member thought of the different attributes and values individually and afterwards we discussed our results with our whole team. Each one of us had somewhat different findings and it was great to compare them and see each one’s approach on the matter.

Next in the program were some talks.We were encouraged to carefully write down all our ideas and write them down plenty. You can never know which idea turns out to be “a diamond in the rough.” Our project has such vide parameters that bouncing off ideas abundantly is something that comes naturally.

After some lunch we started the demofication part of the day. First, we divided into ten groups and created some really weird prototypes based on three words describing everyday objects. Each group got their words from the group next to them and at first my group was a bit baffled with words underwear, money and computer. Eventually, we did create a great prototype of a product that, no doubt, will be reality one day: the Internet of Underthings (credits to Sanni from Tennis Center Digital Services -project for coming up with that name!). That is, underwear with a contacless payment feature as well as showing your account’s balance in the waistband. Brilliant, if you ask me!

Next, it was time to get back together with our own team and start working on a sh***y prototype for our own project. Our end result looked like this:

shitty-prototype

Our solution was just pen and paper, but it is also the quickest way to show what we have been thinking so far. We began by each team member quickly sketching their point of view before we combined those and made the final prototype. Again, each member in our team had very different approaches to the problem and we’ll have plenty of ideas once we get to the actual design part of the project! This excercise ended with a two minute pitch about our project and prototype. We got some valuable feedback to work on. And let’s hope the next time we’re pitching it happens earlier in the day so the team might have more energy on the stage  😀

Your happy jammer,
Marja


The word prototype derives from the Greek πρωτότυπον prototypon, “primitive form”, neutral of πρωτότυπος prototypos, “original, primitive”, from πρῶτος protos, “first” and τύπος typos, “impression”. x

Well hey there,

Hi guys! This is our blog for the Demola Autumn 2016 project.

IMG_20160927_193055.jpg

Our project started a couple weeks ago with the Kick-Off event where we had the opportunity to meet the team and our facilitator Raúl. We also got a chance to check the Demola New Factory @ Finlayson, Tampere. Our project partner is Oscar Software, a software company from Tampere, Finland.

In companies, using the existing data for decision making can really be a headache. Even though the stakeholders have the access to the data, it is more about the question how they see it. We’ll figure out a solution that will allow information to flow between departments and other people who need it!

In the project we are developing a data visualization concept for the use of project partner’s customers. Our goal is to create an integrated tool that allows companies to get relevant internal information easily, in visualized form.

Our project partner’s customers are little alike and that is probably the first problem for us to tackle; the solution(s) should be something for everyone. Depending on our solutions, we’ll do some coding and at least try to develop a demo of some sort, but that all is still in the future, now we’re still trying to fully understand the scope of our problem.

We’ve already had some meetings with our group and this Saturday we will all participate in Demola Jam #1 at the Demola premises!


This multivariate display on a two dimensional surface tells a story that can be grasped immediately while identifying the source data to build credibility. x