Customer Discovery has led myWriteMate back to the U.S. to find a customer segment focus. Based on some very limited customer interviews and feedback from Martin, we’re focusing on college writers and independent writers. In addition, what has become very clear is that we need a clear presentation of the MVP to share with potential customers since the newness of myWriteMate can make it very difficult for folks to understand. So here’s our plan for moving forward, along with where we are in the plan:
- Build MVP using CoCoo (almost done!)
- Create an interest survey (done), distribute through various lists, and collect information and emails of those interested (distribution and collection process has begun)
- Get a handle on the independent writer market (process begun).
Our MVP for the independent writer: improves writing productivity and performance. Reach your personal writing best with myWriteMate.
To reach the college-student end-user, we need to see the teacher as the primary customer. The value for the writing teacher is also that it improves writing productivity and performance through seeing and managing the writing process.
At this point, we wonder if we should also spend some time talking with H.S. teachers (more customer discovery), or if we should stay focused and move on.
Over the past few weeks, WriteMind has been exploring possible customer segments and their needs. As a result, we’re now trying out a new name, one which de-emphasizes the writing analytics program and emphasizes the entire product’s function: MyWritingPal (or just WritingPal or WritingBuddy?)
Our customer research has led us to develop several different customer segments, each calling for its own value proposition (with more to come). Below I’ve identified three of our customer segments, followed by the relevant value proposition.
To Grad Writers (particularly those who participate in Writing Groups and Dissertation Boot Camps—a growing trend):
We offer graduate-student writers a personal coach to help them set and meet manageable writing goals based on their individual learning styles. An ideal companion for Writing Group and Dissertation Boot Camp discussions.
To college writing teachers here and abroad (the need for more critical thinking is a repeated theme in customer discovery discussions):
We offer writing educators a product that helps students see, understand, and improve their writing process. Coached by WritingPal, habitual writers become reflective, critical, thinking writers.
To those who use and purchase online courses:
Amidst increasing pressure to teach to the test and teach en masse, WritingPal offers individualized online instruction in writing process. Use WritingPal on your own or to deepen discussions of writing in writing groups or writing classes.
In an “always on” world, it seems really easy to be distracted by Facebook, someone walking in, staring off into space, posting on your blog, pondering the latest great idea, or even what is for dinner. It is really easy to sit down for a session that you want to be really productive, then find yourself three hours later surfing Facebook and watching the latest Harlem Shake video on YouTube. After all is said and done, you have two pages written and it’s taken you 4 hours to do it. You are left wondering where your time went. I think that this is one of the big places where MindWriter can come in. At the end you can actually look at your break times and see that you wandered off to Facebook land for 30 minutes. This was 30 minutes of wasted productivity.
Once I finally got my paper done, I handed it in — when I get it back, I got a B+. But I worked for HOURS on this thing! How could I only get a B+ I think to myself! I ask my professor what I can do to improve my writing and get a better grade. My professor is able to look at my MindWriter data and sees that I’m taking several breaks, and that the changes I’m making are relatively small and not terribly meaningful — a word here, a word there. The professor can help me break down my process and make my writing more efficient and more rewarding.
My next paper, when I get the urge to go check what my friend is having for dinner, I remember that I need to get this done and refrain from diverting into the black hole that is the “book of faces”. (ok, I still do it, but it’s only 5 minutes!)
With some hesitation I turn in my next paper.
A few days later I get it back and find that my grade has improved to an A-! It’s improvement, but not quite where I want to be. Now that I am armed with some knowledge, I look at my statistics again. My changes are getting more meaningful, and I’m taking fewer long breaks, but I’m not quite there yet. I’ll work harder on this next time…