Bringing Design Ideas to Life: Vouch and the Good Folks Club

This is the fourth installment of our team’s (Allison, Laura, Michelle) project for our Studio and Ideation class. This project builds on the research we did with gig economy workers last Fall, which you can read about here and here.

This week we put our entrepreneur hats on to create pitch decks and landing pages. After getting feedback on three ideas last week, we downselected to two key concepts and built them out further. The ultimate goal from this quarter will be to have one strong idea that we can build out in our final quarter of AC4D

Our progress this week:

  • Cut our goal-setting concept. We agreed rather quickly to eliminate this concept after talking through our key insights last week. Folding two ideas into one made for a busy and unfocused value prop and, while user interest was high, none of us felt particularly compelled to move forward with building this out. 
    • Created 2 pitch decks per concept. We used Andy Raskin’s “The Greatest Sales Deck I’ve Ever Seen  and Guy Kawaski’s “The Only 10 Slides You Need In a Pitch” as a template for each concept.
      • While Kawaski’s pitch deck approaches the concept from a very logical and business minded perspective, Raskin’s model focuses on the root of the problem and seeks to create an emotional response from your audience.  
      • While creating these, we had to ask ourselves: Who is the target audience? What’s our revenue model? What are the true core features we need to succeed? Who are our competitors? And most of all — we tightened the narrative to be very clear. With only a 6-slide deck, you don’t have a lot of room for complexity. We distilled our ideas into digestible concepts that were easily shareable. 
  • Presented our decks to subject matter experts. We contacted entrepreneurs, product designers and developers in these industries to get feedback from a professional perspective. While last week we focused on connecting with potential users, this week we wanted to get feedback with potential funders or backers.  
  • Designed and launched a landing page for each concept. The purpose of this activity is two-fold: (1) it forced us to focus on our key value props and differentiators and (2) it helps us gauge interest for our concept. There’s no use in spending months building out an idea that no one wants. 

Insights & Feedback:

Vouch makes it easy to lend money and build trust – not resentment. 

  • High-Level Pitch Deck & Concept Feedback from SME Interviews: CEO, JUST; Developer,; Founder, R3 Score
    • Each person we spoke with is building products to help make underserved communities more financially resilient. While our target audiences are similar, the approach we are suggesting is different. 
    • Other companies like Able have tried this model and suspended their efforts. What can we learn from them to make this concept viable?
    • The financial sector is fraught with predatory behavior, and as a result the government has placed massive limits on what you can do. We need to invest heavily in compliance research to see if this concept is truly legal. 
    • 10 slide pitch deck
    • Sales pitch deck
  • Website results:
    • Spent $20.61 in Google Ads. Drove 10 clicks. 116 Impressions. 0 conversions.
      • Google ads for this space are more competitive, likely leading to a higher CPC. We should experiment with other platforms moving forward. Until we can feel confident in proof of concept, we are not investing in any long-term content strategies to drive organic traffic. 
    • Site Analytics. 35 unique visitors. 2 direct messages. 5 emails submitted. 

The Good Folks Club
Cultivating community through curated volunteer experiences

  • High-Level Pitch Deck & Concept Feedback from SME Interviews:
  • Website results:
    • Rather than funneling money into ad buys, we chose to focus our efforts this week on getting clear about the concept through the slide decks and landing page. 
    • Site Analytics. 27 unique visitors. 0 emails submitted. 

Next Steps

To continue to gauge feedback, we will schedule interviews with subject matter experts about The Good Folks Club. Then to really bring our ideas to life, we’ll be making lo-fi prototypes and testing those with potential users. Stay tuned!