Discover more from SRI'S BLOG
Economical Experimentation: Your Blueprint
Crafting Low-Cost, Ready-to-Test Concepts with Ease and Efficiency
All of us are born the same, aren’t we? Each of us has the ability to choose. Irrespective of our intentions, we are inevitably driven towards making a choice. Ultimately our choices define us.
A concept is nothing but a detailed explanation of how an idea works.
Problems or challenges are innumerable. The main criterion of a concept is to address a problem and offer solutions. To do so, an idea is considered as a starting point.
Upon planting a seed, the right amount of water and exposure to sunlight is a must. By doing so, the seed will successfully pass through several stages and offer the desired fruit.
Similarly, the right choices and implementations are two crucial steps that will turn an idea into a well-formed concept.
Apart from making the right decisions, one has to see if there is an opportunity for the concept to serve its purpose. Emphasizing approaches that would result in achieving desired results will undoubtedly be a practical consideration. Low-cost experiment-ready concepts demand just that.
Let us consider an example:
An Innovator’s innovative concept promises to offer a breakthrough solution to a persistent problem. For his concept to effortlessly sail through the execution mode, the first practical step he would be taking is to conduct a preliminary Market Analysis. The analysis will reveal important information such as the size of the market, and customer segments to target, etc., With prominent search engines at his disposal, conducting a market analysis won’t appear to be a herculean task.
Secondly, the Innovator must move on to conduct a preliminary Financial Analysis. By doing so, he’ll be able to identify the price point and investment required for his concept. By taking this crucial action step, the Innovator will not only be aware of the cost involved but will also gain other insights such as different strategies that are required for execution.
By taking these two decisive steps, Innovator will have a vision of the concept, that includes a detailed description, a visual mode to carry out a seamless explanation, and a map connecting his concept to an ecosystem.
Placing a concept ahead of the concerned steering committee for approval, and grabbing their attention in a short span of time is an Elevator Pitch. The budget required for the concept’s execution and the routes that are taken to execute will be the two questions concerning the committee on hearing the explanation.
The Market and Financial Analysis conducted in the preliminary stage will now prove beneficial. Placing an extravagant budget will result in disappointment, leading to an impression that the concept involves high technicality, and that might also lead to deferring Innovation initiatives.
How to create Low-Cost Experiment Ready Concepts?
Let us consider a scenario:
A mall in one of the most prominent cities of India hosted a futuristic Parking Area. In an attempt to automate the process of providing & collecting parking tickets, the mall’s development committee took a decision to place machines that do the job of automation.
In an attempt to reduce the wait time at the exit, they decided to keep the parking payment terminal in a central location. The challenge was, that some of the Drivers coming from remote villages in India did not know how to read the instructions and went all the way to the exit gate and realized they could not make payments there. Due to this, there was unwanted confusion at the exit gate
The main intention behind deploying these machines was to avoid congestion in the parking area. However, due to a lack of understanding among the cab drivers, the very purpose was seemingly defeated.
Having invested a significant amount into this project, changing the entire setup could not be considered. Simple solutions were needed to solve this complex problem.
People in general are usually accustomed to a set of ways. When introducing a new concept that would result in changing their behavior, a careful examination is necessary.
In this case, people are accustomed to having a physical interaction while they pay and exit the mall. Introducing a machine for them to interact with and a simple sign board serving as directions would be inadequate.
A solution that involved no major changes was the addition of voice assistance. When the machines at the entry gate were equipped with pre-recorded multi-lingual voices serving as a guide, the transition turned smoother and highly effective.
By approaching drivers with regard to their cause of confusion, and analyzing their feedback, the mall’s development committee was able to come up with this practical solution.
An Innovator has a product that would change the behavior of a consumer. To know how this product would perform in the market, our Innovator must think of practical ways through which his concerns are met.
A need to work on a focus group will come as the first step.
Introducing his product to friends, family, neighbors, or volunteers and recording their experiences will prove as valuable insights as to where his product would stand in the market.
The best way for a designer to portray his concept would be through a clay model. When his concept is given a shape, the “Touch and Feel” factors come into play. The concept takes form when designed as a clay model, giving it the desired attention.
With some investment, you can expand into 3D printing, an additive manufacturing technology for making three-dimensional objects of almost any shape using a digital model. The process is computer-driven with items being built up from nothing, typically through the deposition of successive layers of materials of plastic, metal, wood, concrete, etc. This technology is used in almost all sectors now and the costs are dropping significantly.
Creating a Hard Sketch Wireframe to communicate a visual-based concept would be considered effective in a technological space.
Physically living with a potential customer and understanding his/her behavioral and emotional pattern is what is known as Ethnography. The cost involved in performing this activity will be minimal unless it’s conducted in a completely new geography or environment. Ethnography will result in giving a live insight into the life of a consumer.
These are a few examples through which one can achieve success in conducting Low-Cost Experiment Ready Concepts.