After our talk with Grace, the founder of Lean startup, we decided to try new experiments with our validation process by using spontaneous and creative methods.
On Monday 22nd of April, Ashley and I took a long walk from Union square to Soho in order to interview strangers riding their bikes in the city. Our goal was to learn about our different customer segments by interviewing commuter bikers, stylish and fashionable people and even leather enthusiast dwellers.
We used different techniques to do so:
We waited on the sidewalk to catch bikers that were locking or unlocking their bikes to talk to them and show them our product with our mockups on an iPad, we used a guerrilla marketing strategy by stopping at street lights and handing bikers a card that had the name of our brand, contact information like our email and website and we stopped pedestrian on the streets when we saw that they had some leather accessory on them.
At the end of the conversation we handed to everyone a business card in order to check later if they saw our website or ordered our product.
Monica, an integrated design student at Parsons owned a blue Linus bike and she had it accessorized with a wooden basket, looked very fashionable with a spring dress.
We though she was our perfect target audience but it seems that she didnt buy her bike for the style but only because she likes to wear dresses and this bike had a female rack, we showed her our mockup and she thought it was an interesting idea but wouldn’t personally wear it because she didn’t like wearable accessories. She would like to have a light that is securely attached to her bike instead.
Zoe, a women that was just finishing up her workout from Soul cycle in Soho, also owned a Linus. She was the commuter/sporty kind. After showing her our product, she told us that she loved it, she always looses her bike lights and she was into the leather aesthetics and the functionality of it.
Bob was a student sitting on the bench of La Colombe coffee shop in Soho with a very sleek leather backpack, so I asked him if he biked and he said that he did. He loved our idea and wanted to purchase it on the spot.
Cole, has been a biker for 25 years, he owned a old bike and told us that he loved to accesorize it and keep it safe by rapping the seat, the wheels, his lights around with a leather material. He loved our idea because he thought that snapping it in and out from the bike handle to his backpack would be a great idea.
Greg was another stylish potential customer, he had a leather bag, we approached him on the sidewalk as he was coming back from work. He was from Seattle and loved to bike. He also liked the idea of the snaps that strap on and off and the aesthetics of it and told us that it was like a torch light.
Alessandro, a very stylish Italien biker, really liked our idea and told us that he would share it with all his friends. We even told him to sign up for the pre-order list in order to give him a discount.
Deji was a real deal sport enthusiast, he was wearing professional biking accessories and told us that he would try out our product because he liked new things.
Monica and Maggie, were walking their Schindler bikes home and questioned why we were using leather material to make our bike light. We told them that we were going for a certain type of biker and thought that leather was in style this season.
They also asked us for the price and if we had a website or some contact information. We handed out our cards after that.
Luis, was a freestyle cyclist, he loved speed and adventure. He really though that making the light with leather was unique. Coincidentally, he was also working on a accessory for bikes, so we shared some references and he gave us the contact of his friend that was making neon clothing for bikers.
His company was called Ice cold Nyc
We got very good feedback from people who generally loved the idea, the aesthetics and the functionality but realized that they wouldn’t wear it as a wrist band. The idea of clipping in and out or strapping in and out was more attractive. People could potentially put it anywhere: on their belts, back back and pockets.
After that we got some activity on the website:
-5 people logged in to our website from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, this is when we were on the streets doing interviews
-10 people visited that night.
Since no one has been purchasing our item we decided to add a feature in order for people to subscribe to a mailing list. If they did subscribe, they would get a 10 dollars discount.
We created this feature last night, so we will wait to see what type of results we get.
As for making our prototype, we decided to make the strip smaller, something that can be snapped in and out from a handle of a bike to a backpack or a pocket.
Because our light is 120 Lumins, we needed to get a 9V battery. These types of batteries are usually rather bulky , the challenge is going to find one with the right shape in order to fit in the strap.
We put together a first prototype, connected all the circuits and really loved the brightness of it.
We posted a picture on Facebook and got great feedback on the intensity of the light.
We would need to research more about the batteries and are thinking of moving toward soft circuits to conduct the electricity with conductive fabric and thread.