Pivot or Persevere

Our previous posts covered our current working assumptions for Amas; with some feedback under our belts we can make some Pivot or Persevere decisions. While the Survey we started still requires more people to respond we now have a few more Interview results to start learning from.

This is Part 3 in the series, to see all the parts check out the full blog category. As a reminder, or the elevator version, we are working through the creation of a Digital Product to help people achieve their personal goals. Using Lean Startup ideas we will work to find the most valuable proposition in this space.

amas logo

Interviews

We’ve been trawling our various followers, family and friends to gauge how they deal with following their goals. We have had a good spread of input from people pursuing all sorts of goals.

A reminder of what we are aiming to fill out during these early interviews (an Empathy Map).

empathy map

Some of the things we’ve learned via interviews:

  • People do seem to have personal goals they would like to work towards
  • Interviewees report lack of time as the main blocker
  • We are generally told that people do have a support network they can lean on
  • Progress is occasionally recorded (tending to be physical goals such as weight loss)
  • Goals tend not to be broken down into smaller steps

What does this mean for our Hypothesis?

We initially started out with several Hypothesis we needed to prove or disprove. The Interviews and Empathy Maps we have so far mean we can start early validation of our Hypothesis.

Our Value Hypothesis are

  • That people have goals they want to achieve – This looks to be true
  • That people struggle to achieve those goals – This is also proving true
  • That people will find value in an app to help them achieve their goals – To be proven

Our Growth Hypothesis is that our App will grow virally by users building support networks. We’ve made a very early validation of this idea by finding out people do already have support networks they can lean on.

We still need to let the Survey run its course to gather greater numbers before we can take any insights from it. When it does we will add those learnings to the ones we already have.

Analogs

A useful approach to validating a Product idea is to look for Analogs that exist already. In our case it would be sensible to gauge the number and user base for dieting and self help mobile apps. This kind of Analysis is arguably a form of User Experience Design in action rather than strictly Design Thinking.

Health/Fitness apps

Health apps are a rough analog but they are a wealth of information to mine. Certainly setting goals and working towards them is a feature of all dieting apps and is a good Analog to some of our assumptions.

MyFitnessPal has over 80 million users. It’s one of the most popular and successful health and dieting apps around. Users set goals for weight, fitness, diet and other metrics around health. The app also allows people to build in their social circles to keep them motivated for their goals.

Noom is a relative newcomer to the dieting arena but has a huge following of over 45 million users. Again users set dieting goals but also enter their motivations. The app then makes use of information articles, food diet, reminders and real specialists that message regularly to keep people on target.

Motivational apps

iWish is a Goal setting app that allows all sorts of things to be tracked and worked on. With elements of Goal discovery, Goal visualisation and Plans to achieve your goals this is a very strong Analog for how our current ideas.

Strides is another Goal setting app that offers similar features to iWish. Strides is a little more technical in it’s appearance and a lot more detailed in it’s tracking abilities.

It’s difficult to gauge the number of downloads for these apps (larger apps use their user base as a marketing technique) but it’s safe to say they are nowhere near the league the diet apps above are.

What’s next

The obvious next steps are to let our Survey run its course using organic shares and paid ads to get the Survey out there. We can use everything from ad engagement to the results of the Survey itself to infer a new set of hypothesis to test.

The fact we have some very strong analogs is both positive and negative. Clearly there is at least some demand for this type of app but it’s also a crowded market. We will need to be careful about finding unique value but we aren’t quite at the stage where we need a significant Pivot, yet.

From a technical perspective we can start to review some technologies and services that might help us with the creation of our app. It’s important to realise we have a lot work to do before we start coding but it’s worth knowing our options.

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