Ch, ch, ch, Changes

This week the team of Kelsey Greathouse and Sara Miller had a busy week of continuing of developing our concepts and developing physical representations of those concepts. We have three major updates on our progress.

Update 1: Decision to Not Persist with Our Network Nearby Concept

 

We made a tough decision to not move forward with one of our concepts. We gave each idea a score of 1-5 in the qualities of each being: financially viable, viable to get off the ground in the timeframe we have, amount of interest expressed for the concept in our interviews, and personal interest in the concept. From there we added up the scores of each and ultimately, LaunchPad and Casa had the most amount of points by far.

For many of these qualities of Network Nearby, we had put a “?” where the others had actual values. In our initial interviews for Network Nearby, we uncovered a deeper problem than the one that we had initially hypothesized: that in order to feel empowered to “network” people must first feel they have value to offer another person or business. Our initial concept of a networking app solved the problem of making it easy for people who already wanted to connect to do so, but the population we most hoped to reach (individuals looking to build a community or learn about alternative career paths) often did not feel they had value to offer to relationships, so were not seeking that out.

In short, moving forward with the concept would mean conducting more interviews to better understand the problem space so we could have a better idea of what a product would look like. And, as a team, we worried that another week of interviews in a problem we were excited about but without a solution would set us back on our other ideas.

This is an update of our business plan for our new model!
This is an update of our business plan for our new model!

Update 2: Adjusting Concept of Launch Pad

 

Deciding to move away from our Networking Nearby opening time and mental space to focus on our other concepts more. In that time and mental space, we took another look at both ideas. After synthesizing the information we learned in interviews, we realized that there is a broader need to help people in one career path be able to see the pathway towards a different career path. This allowed us to be able to remove ourselves from our initial concept of a website and consider other solutions that did not fit within the confines of a website.

We had heard in an interview with a recruiter last week that her company will often look for former teachers to be able to fill the role of recruiter. We were interested in this thought process and hoped to dive into what might allow a teacher to be a successful recruiter. What skills does a teacher have that could translate well to recruiting? What are the gaps in their skills that they needed to fill on this own or that this company filled with onboarding that would make them successful?

Simultaneously, we were attempting to find a way to scale our idea down to be able to create something that would be truly effective. We had learned a lot about what recruiters look for in hiring interviews and in reviewing applications as well as how they value alternative education. Considering that teachers are a population of professionals who have a specific skill set and some may be looking to make a transition, we decided to focus on them as our customer segment.

This allowed us to generate a product that specifically served them. For it, we came up with a personalized summer workshop series that helped teachers gain everything they needed to effectively transition into a career in recruiting by the end of the summer. It will be an a la carte service where teachers pay for a consultation and then are essentially given a curriculum of classes to take over the summer based off of their individual background. We then partner with companies who hire graduates of our program and we are given a percentage of their salary as payment.

This upcoming week we are going to connect with teachers to see if they would be interested in a program like this. We also hope to connect companies to see if they would have interest in partnering to hire graduates of such a program

 

Update 3: Service Blueprints

 

After deciding to release one of our ideas and reframing another this week, we sought to delve a bit deeper into the ideas to create service blueprints. Service blueprints are used to map out the interactions a user has with a service or a product. Thinking through each of our two ideas, Casa and Launchpad (v2), we started by posting sticky notes on our boards with the process of each.

In creating a service blueprint, we were required to breakdown each service into stages of consumer use. From discovering the product through use and even after use, we mapped out what the user experienced during each stage, what interactions they would have with the product, and what back of house work did we need to do to make these things possible.

This is our service blueprint for Casa
This is our service blueprint for Casa.

We quickly realized just how complex our ideas were and each category quickly became quite granular in interactions. Both ideas will require many resources, a lot of time, and a lot of manpower to make happen. This exercise provoked questions of how we would scale our ideas, what are our MVPs ultimately, and how we may be able to begin to build with 20% of our MVP to scale properly.

For our digital renderings of the process, we sought to simplify the larger process and look at bigger buckets of interactions to give a more clear overview of how someone uses our products.

This is our service blueprint for Launch Pad,
This is our service blueprint for Launch Pad,

How you can help!

We are hoping to connect with…

  • Students currently enrolled in bootcamp programs
  • Employees at bootcamps
  • Teachers interested in transitioning out of teaching
  • Companies looking to hire recruiters

If this sounds like you or anyone you know, email us at sara.miller@ac4d.com or kelsey.greathouse@ac4d.com. This is an opportunity to be a part of the development of our products in the beginning stages and would love for you to be a part of the process for as long as you would like!