FINNovasjonsdagen sett fra utsiden

Ola var dommer på FINNovasjonsdagen.
Innimellom dømming ble det tatt en del bilder 😉

Olas Favoritt fra FINNovasjonsdagen

Hvilket FINNovasjonslag var min favoritt? Hvem tror jeg har størst sjanse til å lykkes utenfor FINNs trygge dører?

Disse gutta viser fram for brukerpanelet på FINNovasjonsdagen‬

Det er tre grunner til at Erik og Christian med Utleieplassen var min FINNovasjonsfavoritter:

  1. De hadde et tydelig kundesegment: utleiere – eksemplifisert med Vigdis.
  2. De hadde forståelse for et problem utleier-Vigdis faktisk har: «å velge leietagere.»
  3. De har potensiale til å hjelpe til med å løse et av Oslos problemer: «flere folk som vil leie leilighet liten vekst i antall leiligheter som leies ut».

Les mer og se bildegalleri

Torunn The Test Trooper

I suspect some librarians have a hard time finding the Right Book with our book search web app. Liv’s voice is booming in the stair case as the group of five is climbing towards the third floor.

–Today’s two test users will show us some of the ways people can get lost in your web app. Says Benedicte

Tegning av stormtrooperTorunn som tester med r2 d2 ved siden av
Torunn the test trooper is clicking under Ola’s watchful eyes. Torunn says «I click here.» Ola says «Think out loud.»

Bringing the right book with the right level of reading challenge to readers who are practicing to improve their reading skills is what Liv does for a living. Her dream is that when young Loke enters the library in a high school far far away, the librarian will find the Right Book for him with a few strokes on a keyboard. Tack, Tack, Tack!

Dette er ikke en vanlig biblotekarmaske.
Today we will take a peek behind the masks of two users of boksø

–The librarian should not need to think, to know how to use boksø Liv says as they enter the meeting room.

–To make the web app easy to use we need to rebuild it several times in the space of several months. And we need new users to test every time we rebuild. Says Benedicte with an eager smile.

– Ok! Says Liv with her own enthusiastic smile.

–Torunn, our first test trooper will be here in 3 minutes, on that screen you will see where she clicks. Ola points to a large screen.

–How do we know why she clicks where she clicks? Says Vegard.

–I will be in the room with Torunn and make sure she thinks out loud. You will all hear us through that black amplifier. Ola points at a black box in the middle of the table.

–Ok. Says Vegard.

–I’ll go and greet Torunn down stairs. Says Ola and walks out the door. A little later they hear him through the black box.

–You may sit here. I will give you some tasks and while you click I want you to think out loud to make it easier for me to understand why you do what you do. Does that sound ok? Says Ola.

–Yes. Says Torunn behind her mask.

One hour later Vegard, Benedicte, Liv, Tom Erik and Ola sits around a table laden with choclate croissants and steaming black coffee in red cups.

–So what do you guys think about our first test trooper? Asks Tom Erik.

–I was surprised by where she clicked first. Says Vegard.

–I agree. We will have one more tester today right? Says Liv.

–Yes and in two weeks we pay a visit to the librarian at Elvebakken High School. That will give us a chance to see how a librarian uses the web app. After that you make a beta version of the new boksøk web app and then we invite two new testers. We decide together how to rebuild the beta and then we test again right? Says Liv.

–And rebuild again and test again. And again and again until the librarians don’t have to think, because the boksøk web app will be easy to use. Says Benedicte.

–Great! Says Liv.

Oppdrag Brukertest

Vegard, Benedicte, Liv, Tom Erik og Ola går opp trappen tre etasjer i Litteraturhuset og inn på møterommet til foreningen Leser Søker Bok.

De fire er på Oppdrag Brukertest fordi Liv mistenker at for eksempel Biblotekari må tenke når hun skal finne rett bok til rett leser på og Liv vil at nettsiden hennes skal være så lett å bruke at Biblotekari ikke trenger å tenke.

Dette er ikke en vanlig biblotekarmaske.
Klarer vi å komme bak masken på en boksøkbruker?
Dette er ikke en vanlig biblotekarmaske.
Klarer vi å komme bak masken på en boksøkbruker?

–Om tre minutter kommer TestTorunn, da ser dere hvor hun klikker på den skjermen der. Ola peker.
Les mer om Oppdrag Brukertest Oppdrag Brukertest

Three Steps to the Epiphany

Perhaps you recognize the title of this blog post as a reference to Steven Gary Blank’s «The Four Steps to the Epiphany». Our three steps encompass a wider set of objectives than Blank’s four.

Our three steps overlap with Black’s four, a process he dubs «Customer Development», as well as with the lean startup philosophy, with the exception that we don’t subscribe to the idea of scaling. We believe it’s perfectly OK for a startup to aim for sustainable operation, and don’t consider our project a failure if we don’t get filthy rich from it.

We think a successful startup can be modeled by these three steps:

  1. Understand your customer’s problem(s)
  2. Solve only one problem beautifully
  3. Make sure your customers help you get more customers

The steps are supposed to be applied iteratively and in a non-linear fashion (even if my narrative suggests a step-by-step linear process). What you learn in one step may force you to reconsider assumptions you made in other steps.

That’s it—it’s really that simple. If you don’t like to read, just stop here and go for a walk while you contemplate these three steps.

When you come back, leave a comment at the end of this post and tell us what you think.

If you do like to read about our reasoning behind these steps, please continue.

1. Understand your customer(s)

The most common mistake that most people—ourselves included—make when deciding to create a product, is thinking that they understand the customer.

While it may be true that the product you are making solves some of your own problems, if you’re planning to charge other people money for something that solves your own problems, that’s not gonna cut it.

In addition to a certain degree of hypochondria, the startup industry is suffering from extreme narcissism. You need to get rid of that as well. You have to talk to people who aren’t on Twitter, who don’t care about CES or WWDC and who generally don’t mirror yourself in every imaginably nerdy way (unless, of course, those are your actual customers).

So you need to get out of the office, ask questions and collect data. Understand that you are the question mark, not the exclamation point.

2. Solve one problem beautifully (don’t make features)

Okay, so you have talked to your (potential) customers, and identified some problems and solutions.

Your next challenge is to narrow down your list to just one very important problem, and to create a very simple and elegant solution to that one problem.

In our case, when we started making #lillygram, we had all sorts of ideas about the plethora of features we needed, because we really imagined ourselves using all those features as users of our own product.

However, the most important feedback we received from our «early adopters» was that above all they loved our service because it is simple—in other words, for its lack of features.

Had we only considered our own needs we might have overloaded the service with features most users don’t need (read: aren’t important) and obscured the important ones. More importantly, we may never have been able to reach a point where we would be satisfied enough to launch!

What is beautiful?

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that graphical design defines your product. You really don’t need a logo yet and nobody cares about your custom made Powerpoint template.

Focus instead on the one important problem and how best to solve it. You design your color palette and border gradients later. After you get rich, you have a lot of time to waste on making Powerpoints.

A good rule of thumb: if you’re fooling around in any product made by Adobe, you’re probably on the wrong track.

Beautiful, in this case, really comes from the proverbial within.

3. Make sure your customers help you get more customers

With an excellent understanding of your customer’s problem and a very simple and elegant solution to it, you may think that you have all it takes to be the next Steve Jobs.

While the first two steps are certainly necessary, they are not sufficient. Imagine where Apple would have been without its extremely loyal customer base who serve as Apple’s most important marketing tool.

If your customers generate new customers, then you can achieve healthy, sustainable growth.

The basic principle behind this step is that your most happy customers want to spread your products for you.

They don’t want to do this to be nice to you. They want to spread your product because they know it will help other people as much as it helped them. Your job is to make it easy for them to do so.

The challenge of course, is how to achieve just that. How do we make it easy for our customers to be evangelists? We’d love your input on this.

Lilly Apps Celebrates Its One Year Birthday!

(Les denne bursdagsblogposten på norsk.)

What do you know! It has been one year since we started our little Oslo-based parenting-problem-solving team. Is it really doable for four Scandinavian non-parents to understand and solve parenting problems on the other side of the planet? To Benedicte, the only way to find out has always been to «Just Fucking Do It!». In November 2012 we attacked our first problem. Let’s say you’re a parent to a baby and you’re on your way out. You might ask:

– Where are the nearby places you and your little one feel welcome?

Lilly Maps, a map made by parents for parents on their iPhones, was our starting point in our quest for knowledge about parenting problems. A lot has happened in one year. Here are the highlights:

We—meaning coder-in-chief Benedicte, coder Tom Erik, teller of Lilly Tales Ola, and finally high-five-provider and happiness-content-creator Marit—made, launched, improved and promoted three super solutions in order to learn more about three frustrations parents experience.

The team
The team on a warm summer night

Les mer om Lilly Apps Celebrates Its One Year Birthday! Lilly Apps Celebrates Its One Year Birthday!

Fra idé til betalende kunder på 6 uker

Eller «Just fucking do it» som var arbeidstittelen på foredraget.

Se video av Benedicte Raaes populære lyntale på Smidig-konferansen ved å klikke på et bilde.

Benedicte Raae Smidig lyntale fra ide til betalende kunde på 6 uker 40.2 even smaller kopi
Benedicte Raaes Smidige lyntale «fra ide til betalende kunde på 6 uker»

Benedicte Raae Smidig lyntale fra ide til betalende kunde på 6 uker 42.3  small kopi-kopi 2

2 uten navn

Eller se videoen av benedictes lyntale her på Lilly Labs bloggen:

Benedicte anbefaler disse to videoene fra Smidig–konferansen

Smidige utviklere spør ikke om lov – Christin Gorman

Brukerhistorier skal være brukbare! – Karianne Berg

Lilly Apps fyller 1 år!

(Read this birthday blogpost in english by clicking on these words.)

Tenk, nå har det gått 1 år siden den spede begynnelsen av vårt lille Rodeløkkabaserte appemakerteam. I november 2012 lanserte vi vår første tjeneste for småbarnsfamilier: Lilly Maps, et dugnadsdrevet kart for iPhone som viser barnevennlige steder i nærheten av deg.

Mye har skjedd på et år. Her er et lite tilbakeblikk på noen av høydepunktene.

Vi, det vil si sjefskoder Benedicte, supportsuperkoder Tom Erik, fabelforteller og folkeopplyser Ola og til slutt high five ansvarlig og innholdsrådgivenede Marit har pønsket ut, produsert, lansert, forbedret, justert og promotert hele tre lure løsninger på hverdagsfrustrasjoner for folk med babyer og småbarn.

The team
Sånn så vi ut en varm møtekveld i juli: Tom Erik, Ola, Benedicte og Marit

Dette har vi rukket å utvikle det første året

Se flere bilder fra Lilly Apps fyller 1 år! Lilly Apps fyller 1 år!

Benedicte travels to 2019 to test Google Universal Analytics

You might already know that Benedicte, Tom Erik, Ola and Marit enjoy learning from you how we may improve Lilly Sleep, #lillygram and Lilly Maps. Will for example your baby fall asleep faster if we increase the noise level in Lilly Sleep for iPad? Experiments like that are our favorite learning activity here at Lilly Headquarters. We need better measuring tools to give us more actionable metrics.

That is why Benedcite and Ola went to a talk on how Google Universal Analytics maybe will work in the future. Audun’s talk inspired Ola to write this Lilly Tale:

Is Benedicte in a café or on the iPad in 2019? Let us pretend Ola is the manager of Fuglen Café and vintage webshop in 2019. Benedicte is one of his customers. Will Ola be able to track Benedicte’s movements across iPad, Macbook and actual visits in Fuglen’s physical café? Continue reading Benedicte travels to 2019 to test Google Universal Analytics Benedicte travels to 2019 to test Google Universal Analytics