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"How might we help the world's biggest companies learn to profit from solving the world's biggest problems?"
My true north is impact.
I believe that solving the world’s most pressing problems requires partnerships that cross the business, government and NGO sectors.
I’ve designed a career to gain experience in each of these sectors, culminating most recently in an MBA degree from UC Berkeley where I explored the question, “How might the world’s biggest companies learn to profit from solving the world’s biggest problems?”
Now, armed with 10 years of experience in business, government, technology, branding, marketing, business development and entrepreneurship, I’m eager to partner with organizations and people whose values I share, then get to work.
When interviewing young men and women in rural Ghana, one big insight was that these young people were bored!
This platform seems to have cracked the code to providing free entertainment on feature phones.
20 year-old, female, Ghanian farmer.
What I heard:
She felt lucky to lucky to have access to physical literacy school.
She had a mobile phone and was very interested in mobile literacy programs.
She was not sure how incr
Your profile says you are keen for the community to provide feedback on developing an MVP you can use to test the "viability" aspect of your idea (ie will someone pay your for this service).
Drawing from my experiences in an incubator led by Lean Start Up creator Steve Blank, here is some food for thought:
First, let's match minds on terms. MVP means different things to different people in different business in different market types.
To help align our thinking, here is an animated video by Steve Blank giving his take on MVPs:
The MVP we put in front of potential customers will embody the observations and insights gleaned from interacting and co-designing solutions with the market research firms, right? Perhaps this is already done, but it could be super fun to talk to 1? 5? 10? market research folks this week.
Assuming we've got a good (validated) understanding of the needs of market research firms, I think your MVP could be as simple as 2-3 powerpoint slides. Your Customer Experience Map is a good start. I'd add a slide with a graphic showing how the benefits and money would flow between all the key players in your ecosystem.
Here's a rough example:
3) The Pitch
One gem from Steve Blank's lean start up process is the "cancelable purchase order."
When you are sharing your MVP with potential customers you may see their "eyes dilate" because your service fits their needs perfectly. At this point say, "We are still refining the service, but hope to go to market soon. Will you sign a cancelable purchase order for (insert your price). When this product goes to market, we will provide the service at this price. If a better service has emerged or you are no longer interested we can cancel the order."
This concept of "cancelable purchase order" is a mini-test that helps cut through the BS of potential customers saying they like your product even though they have no intention of ever using it.
But more importantly, the question often leads to creating more data and observations to help you think through the viability sphere of your innovation as you iterate toward a better solution.
To build on it, I wonder how might we make it super simple for folks to contribute to big data analysis in ways that generate income.
One gift of big data is the ability to cross reference billions of rows of data in seconds, right?
What if we polled the world about their happiness today? Then cross referenced their level of happiness with the loads of data we have about a local area (weather, employment, income, access to education, access to resources, products and services).
Perhaps selling these new insights could generate enough revenue to economically incentivize people to participate.
Based on my observations and conversations, one simple guess as to "why were youth bored in Ghana?" is nothing to do at night.
Here are more specific observations:
The youth I interviewed lived in a peri-urban town of ~2,000 people. This town is located 3-hour drive via dirt road from Ghanaian capital of Accra. Here, many young people worked in farming. At night folks had electricity in their homes, but no TVs or computers. One dirt road runs through town, but walking that street at night showed no signs of engaging actives for youth.
That said, everyone had feature phones (simple mobile phones). This raised the question for me, "How might we transform feature phones into libraries? Versions of Netflix? And, can we co-create the content in ways that create economic opportunity for young people?"