Become a Detective
First up is doing a recon mission. What other businesses currently exist that are similar to my idea. Once I’ve identified those businesses, research them. Study them. What are the good ones doing. Find a patter, or even better, figure out a way to make my idea stand out by being different.
Once I’ve explored the other businesses, I need to find out how they make their money. What are they charging, how much are their costs. This gets to be a little hard, but needed in order to be able to price myself within the market. The book encourages you to spend 10 dollars and put out an ad on Facebook to see how the community reacts to your idea. It’s sort of a validator for your idea to see if there is a market for it. I’ve never done a facebook ad before, but I’ll be doing one today. I’ll keep reading for now since the book refers you to an appendix to get this done.
I guess I was expecting a little more action from this chapter. I was expecting to take a little more action but I guess doing research is a good first step while not actually taking a step.
First research will be ABCmouse. I want part of my service to be a STEM version of ABCmouse. ABCmouse is 60 dollars a year, or 10 dollars a month. This is perfect because I want my service to be 5 dollars a month. The service can be accessed from any device (I’ll want), there are over 9000 activities (will need to work on this), no commitment and real results. You can also get your first month free which I’ll want as well. They have a step by step learning path with over 850 lessons. I’ll want something similar. Then they have their specialized subjects. Since I’ll be focusing on STEM, I want to take their subjects and STEMify them. Lastly, they have an activities section. These are animations, games, and books. Not a bad idea to have . I think as I expand my service, I’ll want to offer up games and mobile apps. They also have songs (not a big fan of), puzzles, art, and printables. I like the printables ideas, I might do something that’s a little more geared towards 3D printing. Maybe offer up .stl files for people to print at home. Here’s something interesting. They have progress tracking (I’ll really want this, especially since I’m a product manager at work and track progress ALL day long), there are tickets and rewards (I really like this idea since I love unlocking achievements like on Xbox Live), there is a customizable avatar (I’m not in love with the idea, but everyone does it), and that’s about it. Other things they have are Newsletters which I’ll want to do, gift cards for people to gift the service which I’ll want to do, and a curriculum overview.
This last part is key. I want my service to be lined up with the curriculumn of the state that I’m in. I want parents and educators know and visualize how my content lines up with the goals and objectives that they have as well. I think it will make my content relevant and valuable. I’m also thinking of doing both lessons and projects. I kind of want to have students build projects in modules that eventually build out to a larger project but you need all the small pieces to be put together to make the overall project. And finally, while I like the cartoonish feel of ABCmouse, I want my service to be kid friendly but not feel like a cartoon. I’ll want to use the bright colors and cartoons, but I think overall I’m just going to want a kid friendly theme. I’m assuming having the mouse as a their mascot helps with brand recognition. I might want to pursue something similar. I’ll look into some more.
Well that’s it for today. I’m going to do a little more research on the facebook ad thing and also look up other computer science based online services for students. If I see anything else, I’ll make sure to document and share with the community here. Thanks again for reading. Yesterday I crossed over 100 views on my posts. It’s really encouraging and motivating. I’m not going to lie, it really helps me get out of bed at 5 am to get started on this!