Since the weather required the team to postpone the previously planned field trip to a parking meter, the startup crew began their surveys within the walls of the Montclair Kimberley Academy. We spent the day interviewing and photographing people, students and faculty alike. After talking to people from a multitude of age ranges the team received overwhelmingly positive results. The majority of people were excited and curious about the product. They helped to validate the problem and raise some important points. Additionally, the team posted an online survey, which received close to 100 responses all validating the problem of the outdated metered parking system. The team ended the day by cataloging the results and planning to visit the parking meters the next day.
The Startup team gathered early this Monday morning to discuss the events of last Friday’s trip to Aruliden and decide how to move forward with the idea to improve upon metered parking. After reviewing the tips we received from Aruliden, it was decided that a business to business sales model would be the most beneficial. By marketing our product to car manufacturer we eliminate the hassle of convincing consumers to purchase the hardware, and make convincing municipalities to implement the system easier because it will come from the more established car companies. At 1:30 the team reconvened after lunch for a conference call with Dr. Richards. After reviewing the days accomplishments, we planned for the rest of the week, arranging another conference call for Wednesday afternoon. Over the next few days the team plans on taking field trips to several sites with metered parking in order to get more detailed consumer research underway.
Today the startup crew once again ventured into NYC, to meet with Don and Jen from Aruliden, a design and marketing firm that helps clients to conceptualize, finalize, and market their products. We discussed how to identify our target audience, how to "future-proof" our ideas by constantly looking forward towards new avenues for expansion, and how to use the people who will use our products as resources, by figuring out how they would intend to use and integrate Parkr into their lives. We were shown products that Aruliden has designed with the help of students, such as a portable desk, and a modular locker organizer. These products were the perfect intersection of form and function, and as they were designed by the students who will use them, they perfectly meet the needs of modern students. After the meeting, we met to discuss our next steps, which include surveying our peers, and deciding who our product is intended for. With a very productive week 2 coming to an end, we are energized and ready to hit the ground running on Monday.
May 12th marked the final AP test, a sign of liberation for the startup team. With classes out of the way, the team can turn their full focus into rendering their parking concept. Tomorrow we meet with the creative design think tank Aruliden in the city. One day at a time.
Today the Startup crew started bright and early, eager to move forward with the idea for improving metered parking. Once everyone had arrived the various research tasks were divided up and we launched into a more detailed discussion about our proposed solution to the problem. The crew then reconvened to spend some time as a whole brainstorming ideas for a product name, before breaking into smaller groups once again. With one subset of the group researching hardware, another looking into software, and one working on design the group was one step closer to developing our product. After a long day of research, the team wrapped up with a picnic lunch at the park.
Progress. Teamwork. Meeting objectives.
Morale was high in the Startup office today following the consumption of a quality food stockpile, a lively rundown of our progress to date, and the development of our breakthrough idea. If you struggle with finding coins to feed parking meters, have trouble finding your car in busy parking lots and, in general, wish to add more convenience to your life, we might just have the perfect product for you.
In reflection of a truly inspirational day, we want to thank Mr. Kevin Fives for touring us around Google's largest New York City outpost. Set in the old Port Authority building, Google is a prime example of technology changing our world. The former home to thinking about thousands of busses now houses countless thought leaders across every discipline. Since Google announced itself to the world 14 years ago, its technology has shaped the way we search the Internet, collaborate on projects, connect our devices, and network with each other. Our major takeaways were Mr. Fives' explanation of how Google got to be so great:
With these ideas in mind, everyone in Startup 101 will sit down tomorrow to finalize which concept we will pursue. Stay tuned.
Today under constant downpour we joined together at Alley NYC a small business incubator. The invite was given to us by our Startup mentor Dr. Richards, as it is the place his company Explain Everything calls home. We enjoyed the Startup environment and were fortunate to run into startup alum Ibrahim Abukwaik after video conferencing him only a day prior. Today we focused on expanding our ideas and closing their loopholes. We suspended work for a free taco lunch provided by Alley NYC, and afterwards resumed our discussion on feasibility. Today proved eventful and productive as we have been able to set deadlines for our future growth.
On our fourth day of work, we really started to hone down our list of of ideas, weeding out ideas that would not be feasible or ideas that were simply too large for us to solve or implement. Later in the day we spoke with a former startup member, Ibrahim Abukwaik, and spoke with him about the startup process, and how his company, BluTours, operated when it was at our stage of development and how we should procced from where we are. From Ibrahim we learned the importance of knowing your target audience when starting up, and how to go about researching that demographic about our market. Towards the end of the day we discussed the specifics of two promising ideas, one of which we will use to start our company.
On the third day of work, we began to focus and define our ideas, as well as coming up with possible problems to solve. With Dr. Richard’s guidance, we began to sort out the possible problems we could solve into a chart. As the chart began to grow we focused on the core problem that we were attempting to solve behind each idea, and find multiple ways to implement them. As we worked, a few problems really started to jump out at us as great opportunities to start a company. Hopefully tomorrow we will be able to reconvene and further discuss our path forward.