Last Week Tonight With Josh, Scott, and Maria

We decided to venture into our idea from last week, Civic Night. The high-level concept of the idea is Trivia Night + The Daily Show. The goal is to create an event that brings people together on the issues surrounding Austin but in a fun, light, and entertaining way. We have several assumptions about this business model some of whom include: people are interested in this type of event and would therefore attend, resources like talent would be interested in hosting something like this from a comedic standpoint, etc.


his week we set out to test one of our many assumptions by gaining email subscriptions via a prototype landing page. We hypothesize that people will show interest in attending an event such as this. We measured to see if this hypothesis was correct by setting a goal of 25 email subscribers to our website. Our goal was to simply perform outreach in outbound channels like Nextdoor, local Facebook groups, paper flyers, and in-person meetings to gage if it was something interesting enough that they would want to know more.


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We chose a website landing page to be our prototype for this experiment. In our experience with IDSE301 – Quarter 3 Methods we are learning that by creating a landing page online you have access to email subscribers, wider audiences, and rapid change making. Our landing page needed to be simple, straightforward and give high-level conceptual examples to gage the view right off.

In the beginning stages of developing our prototype, our group struggled to agree on how we should target our content. We could not decide on whether the copy should be focused on entertainment or educational and informative. Instead of spending much time on assuming what our potential audience would want we decide created another prototype to test initial reactions from people. We created a brochure with copy focused more on entertainment, and we went to Haymaker bar and spoke to five groups of people about the brochure.

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We received praise on the idea, and one group mentioned they would like it if it was something informative, “ ..trivia night is always just drunk people making a bunch of noise. I would go to something if interesting discussions were going on.” So we decided that it would be best to play up the informative content while keeping the theme around fun and entertainment.  


To test our hypothesis we ran experiments like posting to various online channels, performing interviews with people in community centers, bars, and restaurants. Our reactions from these experiments were overall positive and we ended up getting twenty-five email subscriptions from our website in under twelve hours. At this point of experiments were primarily run through outbound channels. However we did put up tear off flyers at several community centers throughout East Austin. We are expecting more email subscribers to come from this channel. We will measure the effectiveness of this experiment by coming back next week to see how many pull-off tabs are removed.


Image uploaded from iOS


Lean Canvas

In this phase, we created Lean Canvas models as a precursor to actual business plan. Our reason for this is because we are still testing our idea to see if people want it, if there is a way for monetization it, and what works and doesn’t. We do not want to spend the time and effort it would take to write out a complete business plan in the likely and hopeful event that our idea is reframed and shifted as we test our assumptions. The canvas lets us think big picture about our business model now and into the future. It helps us frame the business so that we aren’t leaving essential aspects out, and so that we take the time to think about key metrics and resources needed to help our business grow and thrive.

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Our results from our website prototype and our interviews that we conducted to confirm our assumption that people are interested in an event such as this and it is possible they would attend given the right marketing and location. We receive 33 email subscribers to our site, and we spoke with over 15 people about the business idea.

Next Steps

This phase was very reassuring, and uplifting, however, we have seen areas were our business model needs to adapt and shift. We initially set out to hold our events primarily at local bars, but we are seeing from several sources that we risk alienating certain groups when introducing the exclusivity of alcohol-serving establishment. We will workshop concept and talk to people to better understand our audience and ways to bring different people together and talk about sensitive topics in respectful and fun manner.

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I would also add that we found that not everybody liked the format and, given this information, we will take it into account as we shift and reframe our business model. We will be testing other assumptions this following week and hopefully get closer to our audience and start to gain feedback more conclusively.

Where We Need Help

As we continue to reflect on this research and shift our idea into something desirable and tangible, we welcome any outside help from AC4D alumni or professional connections. What we want to do next is understand how comedy works in these tough subject and to see if there are people doing similar things that might be able to give us tips or help if asked.