Yes indeed, the first drink will be free. We want to develop an app that will enable users to create accounts and get discounts and/or free drinks after a certain number of uses. This app will also enable them to pay, report any dysfunction (and get loyalty points/discounts), alert the technical team in case of emergency, rate our services, give us feedbacks and recommendations on soft drinks that they would like. It will enable us to continuously improve of our product, access valuable customer data and prioritize maintenance efforts.
The next steps are the following: First: market validation, from users and partners. We need to ensure our value proposition is perfectly aligned with the market needs. This will be achieved through market research and rapid prototyping. Once we have a solid proof that users will use and pay for our solution, partners will be more inclined to get into business with us. During that phase, the technical team will explore and develop various technologies to widen our options. We expect this phase to last 5 months or more. Secondly: prototype testing. Based on the feedbacks and insights collected during the market research, we will be able to define a successful business model and build a first working prototype to be tested in various environments. The idea is to eliminate risks by testing the most important aspects of the product first before less critical elements. This phase should approximately last 2 months. And finally, the launch. My goal is to launch Gloop as soon as possible, so we can test the technology in a real environment. We will launch one unit in a pilot city (chosen based on the results of the market research and PET botte consumption rate) and monitor it over a period of 2-4 months before installing new improved units in the same city. Once the city is fully equipped, we will launch the product in another city/country.
The barriers that we currently face developing Gloop are mostly technical. Gloop needs to be able to refill any bottle, therefore should be equipped with smart sensors calculating the volume of bottles for precise refilling. We could use technical advices on this matter. We want contactless payment only but we do have some doubts on the security aspects of mobile and in-app payments. Additionally, as we want to use re-purposed materials, internalize repairing and discarding of our units and work together with our component suppliers to minimize waste and lower our production costs, we would require strong knowledge of reverse logistics and smart materials.
Looking forward to reading the OpenIDEO community feedbacks!