South Africa Summer 2017 Blog

University of the Witwatersrand
June 26, 2017 to July 29, 2017

Day 17: Product Hackathon

Jayanthi Jayakumar

July 16, 2017

Hi Team,

 

Great job on the Hackathon yesterday!! Every single person was working at a 100% the whole day and it showed in the amazing results you were able to produce. We are very proud of you and are excited to see the changes you make to your apps/websites by Demo Day. 

 

Here is the link the slides from the Hackathon: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByvIqRNwUn04UWpLRzNDVGkxaTg/view?usp=sharing

 

There are a couple of main takeways from the day:

  • Spend the time to develop milestones for your team. Milestone help the team stay focused and aligned
    • Develop subtasks for each milestone. This helps translate goals and ideas into concrete tasks required for execution.
    • Assign each subtask to one or more team members. Delegating tasks not only allows team members to take ownership of particular areas of the project but also allows everyone to focus
    • Assign the expected number of hours for each subtask. This is particularly difficulty, but will be an incredibly step in the longrun. As a start-up, assigning each subtask to a time duration helps keep all of the team members motivated and achieve goals faster. It also helps elucidate the subtasks that are taking longer than expected and brings to forefront the underlying challenges associated with those tasks that were previously unrecognized. Lastly, as you grow from a start-up to an established company, being able to do the steps outlined here will help you identify the number of people your company needs to hire and how to delegate tasks to them.

 

  • Product development helps translate words (i.e., your ideas and feedback from primary and secondary market research) into a tangible outputs. But it is NOT a one steps process. TEST. TEST. TEST. Test your app/website with each other and your future customers. The more you test and iterate over your product, the better it will be by Demo Day / your launch.
    • Although the tendcy to be a perfectionist is understandable, do not postpone the testing process. If helpful, breakdown your product by components and test the components. Components can be functional (e.g., test the payment page, test the landing page, test the way advertisements will be shown, tests the way the map function works). But you also test just the design (e.g., color theme, logo, font type and sizes), content, the logic of the flow from one page to another.

 

  • Don't forget business / tech operations. Product development should not happen in isolation of thinking through the operations. Ultimately, each of you are aiming to build an app/website that will reach hundreds, thousands, millions, or even billions of people one day. Operations is the process through which a company will be able to do it. A focus on operations can differentiate a company in a competitive market place (e.g., Amazon) or break a company (e.g., UPS/FedEx during the holiday season).

 

Good luck with continued product development over the coming days. As always let us know if you have any questions!

 

Best,

Nupur, Chinasa, Erin, Jayanthi

Day 16: Business Plans, Pricing, LTV & Mapping the Sales Process

Nupur Dokras

July 15, 2017

Hi all!

Thanks a great week! We covered a ton and I cannot wait to see how you guys use the concepts we covered in the Hackathon to make some stellar progress on your apps/websites/mobile solutions!

 

Please find the slides from Day 16 on Business Models, Pricing, LTV and Sales Mapping Process here.

 

Additionally, you can find the LTV model we talked through in class here. Please download the file to make edits to it when you play around with it for your own businesses.

 

Lastly, your assignments from Friday's class are due at 11:59pm Monday. Here is what needs to be included in your slide deck for Monday. Please note we did not cover COCA and Next 10 Customers Friday, but did cover the sales process which was supposed to be on Thursday on Friday so the deliverables are different than what is on the syllabus. They should include the following:

 

  • Business Model
  • Potential Pricing
  • LTV of a customer
  • Map of the sales process
  • Backup slides:
    • Business Model - 3 Options (Add the three options you identified in a Backup slide. You do not have to present it in class but we want to be able to see how you chose to use your current Business Model)
    • Value Created and captured - this could be shown on your Business Model slide or separately in backup.
    • Include anything else that helps show how you arrived at your current stage. The more material you give us, the more feedback we can give to help!

 Thanks and good luck on the Hackathon! Go Team!

 

Day 15: MVP, IBM, Marketing and Branding

Chinasa Emeghara

July 13, 2017

Hi GSL Participants, 


Thank you for a great class today. I hope that you gained some new insights about selecting your MVP, understanding the methods of marketing, developing a strong personal & business brand, and even learning about the "hot" new developer tool IBM's Blue Mix. 
I have also attached Tshepo's Marketing Presentation. Check out this article that Tshepo wrote about the "Battle for the Audience".
Hope to see (all of) you in class tomorrow! 
All the best, 
Chinasa

Updated Syllabus (Version 2)

Jayanthi Jayakumar

July 12, 2017

Hi Team,

Please find below a link to the syllabus. We are looking forward to an intense and rewarding two weeks with you all and we are already excited about your awesome pitches for Demo Day.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByvIqRNwUn04Z29QMHBoalNFRk0/view?usp=sharing

As always let us know if you have any questions on the syllabus.

 

Thank you!

Nupur, Chinasa, Erin, Jayanthi

Day 11: Midterm Presentations & Wireframing 101

Jayanthi Jayakumar

July 12, 2017

Hi Everyone,

Well done on your midterm presentation!! It's great to see how much progress you have all made in just two weeks. We hope those inspirational videos and intro to wireframing pumped you up for what's to come over the next week with product development. 

 

Please find here the link to the slides from Day 9 that go over the process for concept generation: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByvIqRNwUn04dkxNTzNwMlNOeGM/view?usp=sharing.

 

Invite your friends, family, and mentors to Demo Day on July 29th (information on the slides).

 

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

Thank you!

Nupur, Chinasa, Erin, Jayanthi 

Day 12: Wire-framing and mobile application architecture and design

Erin Golden

July 11, 2017

Hi everybody!

Hope you all enjoyed today talk and lecture. We went over concepts that you should understand and consider when you are designing the architecture of your application, developing it and designing the presentation layer. 
Keep in mind that you do not have to stress out about finding a solution for all of the common issues, but do your best to cover as much as you can in your design. 
Good luck, 
Elaheh 

Day 10: Value Proposition, Core, and Competitive Position

Erin Golden

July 6, 2017

Hi all,

Hope everyone enjoyed learning more about your value proposition, core, and charting your competitive position!  Please see today's slides at this link:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByvIqRNwUn04b3Z1dmwxaHZHaE0/view?usp=sharing

Each team should have received a handout in class on tonight's assignment.  Details below: 

Slide 1: Title 

*Slide 2: End User Profile - Key Features: gender, age range, income range, geographic location, motivations, fears, passions, hobbies, why are they going to use this product?

*Slide 3: User Persona - One real person who represents your ideal customer from the group of people who represent your end user profile

*Slide 4: Decision Making Unit - Define the following:

Champion - who is going to push to get this product? 

Economic Buyer - who will eventually put down the money to acquire your product?

End User - who will be using your product on a day to day basis?

Primary or Secondary Influencer - this person’s opinion highly influences the DMU

Person with Veto Power - if this person is not on board, the product will not be bought

Gatekeepers - people who allow you access to the decision makers

*Slide 5: User Needs - Description of needs met by each page of the storyboard and its functionality

Slide 6: Storyboard - Visual representation of functionalities

Slide 7: “As-Is” v “Possible” State - Visual illustration of your QVP (Quantified Value Proposition)

Slide 8: Define Your Core - What is it that allows you to deliver the benefits your customers value with much greater effectiveness than any other competitor?

Slide 9: Chart your Competitive Position - Provide a graph that shows how well you fulfill your

Persona’s top two priorities versus how well your competition does so.



**If your product has a 2-sided market, please provide a slide for each side for your End User Profile, User Persona, DMU, and User Needs

 

Please let us know if you have any questions! See you all tomorrow.

 

Best,

Nupur, Chinasa, Erin, and Jayanthi