I am almost done with my review of the initial steps I’de taken to develop a startup. It will feel nice to be caught up to my process and blog on from there.
I’m home now for the holidays and am gearing up to do a beta-test of yaherd.com in January. I am still waiting to hear from the Zahn Center if yaherd made it as a semi-finalist. We were suppose to hear on the 13th but the announcement was pushed back to the 18th because of the sheer number of entries. Regardless of the competition or even the decision I will press on. Writing the application fine-tuned my explanation of the product and I even made a little animation to enhance the yaherd application. After talking to Alina, the designer, who asked for a Creative Brief I was able to build and include that in the current wireframes as well. That is after I looked up what the hell a creative brief was. So the Zahn competition has given me a wealth of knowledge I didn’t know I needed and for that I’m grateful regardless of the outcome. Everything brings you closer to your goals if you allow it to guide you. The beta-test is shaping up to give me more than I expected before even receiving the results.
What was I testing? I was testing if people valued the yaherd service. Did they want an easy and more efficient means to connect with artist they discover in the real world? Did artists find value in potentially acquiring more fans from their live audience? “Which was the harder pitch”, asked Dmitry. The harder pitch was convincing the audience this is something they want and could value. All of the artists I had spoken too immediately saw the value. Even the ones who asked why would I need your service if I have my own website, I was easily able to convince otherwise. Why? Because the time it takes anyone to navigate your site for your social media icons and then go to each individual page is time you nor they have, especially at a show. So the beta test is really to see if this idea flies for the average person going to see a show. So there is no need to build the artist-signup section of the site. ACtually building a real site would not be necessary. Let me try to explain what I mean.
I was still revising wireframes to flesh out the product design of yaherd. What woudl be the user experience but with doing this the wireframes were growing again and I needed to focus on this beta test and what that would look like. I now call both Dmitry and Haytham my “Widdle-it-Down Wizards”. Haytham suggested killing the GPS idea, which would automatically locate an individual and tell them who was on stage at any given time. So the gps idea became a simple search of our database for this info. But Wizard #2 suggested to make it even simpler for the beta-test. His suggestion is where I stand now:
- Connect with 2 or 3 artists/shows (easy. Free)
- Create 3 faux sites that would make it appear as if yaherd is working, but in actuality it is working just for these shows. I would change the site over depending on what show I was monitoring.
- Monitor how people are using it via Google Analytics (easy, Free)
- Use each show to test different things (aha)