Janey Roh / November 27th, 2015 / 0 Comment
“If you think you are done, then you are done.” – John Gray, Co-founder Mentionmapp
It’s one thing to come up with an idea and another to try and come up with a plan of what you will actually be making and testing. Teams were presented with briefs of different hypothetical services and were asked to come up with prototyping plans for each. Things from a private learning centre to shared rides in urban cities to peer support for kids with parents with addictions. This might sound pretty straight forward. But the implications for what and how you are testing are vast. Things like testing out names for an idea can easily convey assumptions that are being made about that idea. Coming up with questions of what you want to answer is a good starting point, but a prototyping plan needs more than that. Ideas need to be made into something that is tangible. Something that you can actually test. Coming up with a prototyping plan helps force you to think about those aspects. But it can be challenging to stay in the prototyping mindset. It’s easy to slip into delivery mode. Thinking more about how you are going to enact an idea and letting your own biases and preferences shape what you are testing instead of staying in an experimental mindset.
Teams went out to meet with other start ups and organizations that are doing things a bit differently. It’s a way for us to learn and get inspired by folks that have taken ideas and made them into entities. Team Kudoz met John Gray, co-founder of Mentionmapp. John started Mentionmapp in 2009 and shared some of his insights on developing his business. He told us, “It’s all about a hypothesis. It’s an experiment.” He mentioned that even though Mentionmapp’s first assumptions were all wrong, that that didn’t stop them from continuing to test and iterate in order to move the business forward. “There is no such thing as a finished product. You are always iterating.” Mentionmapp is currently on its 4th iteration.
Things are changing
Back at the studio, Team Kudoz looked at their current theory of change. The idea was to reflect on the last 9 months and to think of all the things we had seen Kudoers do and say. Were we making progress on the factors (aka determinants) that influence the outcomes we care about – like increased independence, greater sense of self, more meaningful roles, and less stigma? This sparked some lively conversations about which behaviours fell under which determinants. A good reminder to us about how important it is to capture what is happening during each interaction with Kudoz. And just how hard it is to measure real outcomes for folks. A good reminder that we need to stay within a prototyping mindset and continue to test so that we can continue to gain a deeper understanding.