This is our kickstarter page which contains the information about our product
For this self reflection i will be using the personal business canvas.
Some questions i will have to change to fit the past tense.
I will also look back to my first blog-post and answer how it worked out.
Personal business model canvas
who were my key partners?
My key partners were mostly my team members:
- Rob van Schooten
- Gouhai Qu
- Tudor Sisoe
- Meda Moisa
We’ve got most of our feedback from our teachers Tim Roosen, Martijn Derkzen and Johannes de Boer. they were a valuable part in the setup stage of the company and product.
I also want to mention Harry Sanderink for giving us a budget to test 3D printing and the staff at the Fablab for their great help and insight.
My Key activities
In this project i feel like i was a jack of all trades.
I mostly created 3D models and together with Rob we created the 3D prototypes.
Other things that i’ve done include Acting, marketing Research, creating the business model canvas and Testing and helping redesign the product.
My Key resources
I’ve had allot of 3D modeling experience to put in this project and a cooperative mindset.
I believe I worked well in the group and helped my teammates out just like they helped me.
I designed 3D models for graphic use, concept actualization and 3D printing.
I provided knowledge and experience with 3D printing software that we used to create our prototypes.
Often or not I was helping other team mates, and looking up business information for the company. I believe i brought interesting ideas and criticism to the work process.
“Customer” Relationships (how i interacted)
I believe i interacted with my team mates and others in a respective and enthusiastic manner. I was not shy with asking questions to the team and teachers, and neither with my criticism.
I think our team interacted very well with each other and everyone had a equal standing and voice in the project.
My team knows me as a fun loving and energetic man, I’m sometimes a bit tardy but always make sure everything is there in the end.
Customers (who i helped)
I helped my team and potential customers in the future.
I gave my time and dedication to this project. I always tried to deliver good work and keep the spirits up.
What i got
I’ve got a smooth running project with equal minded teammates and an innovative product. I learned allot and got a good view of 3D printing that will help me in my next assignment, and future career choice.
Checking the first blog & learning goals
In the first blog i wrote that i wanted to learn more about 3D modeling and realistic rendering. In the end i didn’t learn about realistic rendering but I’ve got a great experience modelling products to scale and allot of insight in 3D printing.
I always thought 3D printing was very complicated and with an other project i ran into problems before I even started printing. This project helped me allot and gave me the confidence and knowledge i needed to finish my other project.
What went well
- The division of tasks and sharing of documents always went clean and fast
- The planning started rough but we were running a tight schedule in the end
- The team had a good and warm vibe that made the work so much easier
- 3D printing and prototyping went really well and gave us a better look at starting our own company
What could have gone better
- The planning took a while to take shape
- I need to try and create clear tasks for myself in the beginning of the project
I had a great time working in TwoTired. My teammates were great and I feel like we really got along. We got a clear task division and everything went pretty smooth.
I learned allot and am proud of what we have achieved.
What are the strengths of your concept?
- Relatability to the problem. The reason why we all found the idea to be good is because we can relate to the main problem that we offer a solution to: having to pull out your smartphone/music player from your pocket in order to change the songs or adjust the volume. From my point of view, this strength played a major part in the well-development of the concept and of our team.
- Safety. By having a simple media controller on the handlebar (as opposed to having to control the music you are listening to by using the smartphone), you are more focused on the road and pay more attention to your surroundings. In turn, this means that accidents caused by human error or negligence on the road.
- Uniqueness and simplicity. While our product might seem too simple for it to not already exist, this is actually the truth. After searching for competitors, we did not discover any other company that puts into practice our concept in its current form.
- Price. While similar products do exist and might seem to be the same concept as ours, they are more expensive to purchase. Given that our target group is mostly young adults (with all of them most probably owning a smartphone already), one of our initial goals was to create an affordable product. After researching various possibilities, we came to the conclusion that, by outsourcing to China, we are able to produce our product with ~5€/piece, a price significantly lower than our potential competitors.
- Potential. Given the constant rise in wireless technological applications, our product has a huge potential in becoming the norm in casual biking. Furthermore, the HandlePal can gain in the future more useful features, such as ride statistics or lighting.
What are the weaknesses of your concept?
- Power management. The HandlePal, in its current form, works on a coin cell battery, which can be easily changed, but our revised concept (with outsourcing to China) requires an external battery pack, which would make the product bigger a little more expensive.
- The production process is quite expensive. If the prototype product were to be produced, it would cost about 30€/piece, making it too expensive for our target group. Moreover, the prototype was 3D printed. While this technology is indeed on the rise, it is still not affordable money-wise and time-wise. However, both these problems could be solved by outsourcing to China.
- Software. The current app is below industry standards and does not represent a good alternative for existing music players, even though it has to advantage of being able to connect to our device. Better development or external software integration could be a solution.
- Water resistance. Because our product would spend most of its time on a bike and in an outside environment, it is important for it to be water resistant, which our current product isn’t. This matter is in our development plan.
What went well regarding the process?
- The concept was liked by every members of the team, which made it easier for us to brainstorm ideas and develop on the initial vision
- While the weekly schedule was not followed that tight in the beginning, we managed to pull ourselves together and do everything we had decided on
- The teammates were easy to work with and we all learnt and built on the feedback and criticism provided
What could have gone better?
- While overall the tasks were delivered on time, there were some situations where it would have been beneficial to finish everything before the deadline
- The development process was a little bit tough to finish in the last 2 weeks, so it would have been better if we had managed to have a less stressful ending part
My role in the team
While the other individual post stated that my learning goals were mostly related to the audiovisual field, I liked the concept very much, so I decided to focus on the programming part (alongside Guohai), which is mentioned in the post, but to a lesser extent. During these 8 weeks, I have developed a music player app for Android using Android Studio and I have implemented the User Interface that Guohai designed for the app.
However, in the last 2 weeks, I have modeled the current prototype (since Paul had a tight, overlapping schedule, while mine was not) and I have filmed and edited the video for our Kickstarter page, which was part of my learning goals.
What are the strengths of our concept?
Firstly I believe that our concept it’s unique because it’s combining different technologies in such a way that it makes the product practical and different from the others.
Secondly I think that the product solves a lot of problems for the customers such as safety while using the phone and biking. Safety it’s very important, our product could help to prevent the numbers of accidents that are produced while biking because it would make you less distracted since you don’t have to remove your hand to search for your phone in the pocket, you can keep your hands on the bike handle.
In the third place I think that our product it’s very practical since it’s detachable, easy to use and flexible because of the BlueTooth technology that it uses. The price is acceptable for students also,especially because most students own a smartphone so they don’t have to buy extra devices for the app. The concept has a high potentinal to develop because we are preparing to add more functions in the future for the user.
Your phone won’t get damaged also, our concept is based on using the BlueTooth technology which allows the user to be able to not take their phone out while biking so they can just use our device while their phone it’s inside the pocket/backpack.Since in the Netherlands it rains a lot this is very convenient.
What are the weaknesses of our concept?
The weaknesses of our concept mostly refer to the materials we use, the battery sloth, the production and the technical part.
The material of this product it’s not waterproof which might be a problem for the Light Blue Bean inside but we are in a developing process and we are planning to create a waterproof alternative. It also takes a lot of time to print one product since it’s created by using a 3d printer.
Our product has inside a light blue bean which requires a battery, we do not have a special sloth to change the battery but the product has 2 parts, by taking one out you can replace the battery easily.
The Light Blue Bean costs a lot but we have found a cheap alternative that we can use in the future which it’s a normal BLE.
Also for now we only have one function but for the future we are developing more functions for the user to be able to control different types of apps on their phone.
What went well regarding to the process ?
The concept: We created a concept that we all liked after making a brainstorm session.We all had great ideas so by combining them and working together we came up with this concept. After coming up with the concept we started to plan everything, to give tasks, to research about different things. We all worked together and since we have similar mind set we got motivated to work together.
The team: The team was enthusiathic to work together, we helped each other a lot. It is a good thing that each one of us was doing something different, each one of us had different tasks, each one of us is good at something else but combining all of those has helped the team to develop and achieve it’s goals. My team mates were very helpful and understanding. By planning everything the process for this project went smooth since we all knew what each one of us had to do.
Feedback: We have received constructive feedback from our teachers Tim Roosen, Martijn Derkzen and Johannes de Boer which has helped us to understand better what we can change, how to make the concept and product better, how to solve the problem that we chose. The feedback has helped me realize how to improve my own skills but also how to help my team better.
The process went smoothly even though we had some problems we fixed them in the end.
What could be better about the process?
The delivery of the tasks could have been better since sometimes it took more time for others than the rest but everyone finished their taks in the end.
We could have talked more during the meetings, like being more organized, know exactly what we need to talk about.
I was also very stressed since I also have re-dos and I had to plan my time carefully and it was overwhelming. I could have plan my time better and focus more but it was a little hard since I got very stressed.
Since we helped each other we could face those things easier and fix the problems we had.
The value I provided to my team?What was my role in this team?
Individual focus: In the first blog I have wrote that I am interested in a lot of things but since it’s hard to focus on a lot of things I decided to focus on the writing part since other people were better than me in things that interested me and writing it’s one of the things I want to learn more. Researching, marketing, testing have helped me since I thought that it would help me a lot in the future for an internship and when I will work in a company. It has help me to develop my skills, to improve my writing, my way of thinking. I have found out a lot of new information which contributed to the team and has helped us to fix or to develop our concept easier.
By making research I helped the team by providing information that has helped us to think and see what’s the best way to create and present our product. Since most of my tasks were writing I have also put together the written content from the kickstarter page based on the research me and my team mates made but also base on the process.
I had also helped with other tasks when neccessarry.
The testing part has helped the team to have a more clear idea and it helped us make changes in the price, material, etc.
My process I have posted in my previous blogs.
By researching about different topics I have gained more knowledge and a in depth perception of how different companies work, how to present your idea, how does the target group thinks since we are also part of it. I have a more broad view and now I know how different things work.
What are the strengths of our concept?
- Uniqueness: Our product Handle-pal is very unique. During the process of searching for Competitors, we didn’t find any company that produces the same product as us.
- Potential: The way our product works is by sending data from Handle-pal to the smartphone. Then the phone decides what to do with those data. In the later on development, this concept can be Expanded to other functions that are useful while biking such as control the lighting, electrical horn and monitoring the distance the user has traveled.
- Safety: Listen to music while riding bike can be dangerous, but we can’t force those people who do to change their behavior, which means that they can’t listen to music while biking. Our approach to this is to reduce the possibility of causing those accidents by placing Handle-Pal on the handle, this way the biker doesn’t need to lift their hand off the handle, but they still have full control over the songs and volumes etc.
- Price: The potential consumer for this product are young adults, the majority of them doesn’t have too much money to spend on leisure products, such as our product. The solution we have for them is to create a device to connect with their smartphone, which they already have one. This way the consumer doesn’t have to spend extra money for the overlapping function that’s already provided by the smartphone. The physical product can be produced within 5 EUR / piece (everything included) by outsourcing to china. which means our target group would be able to get that product with a very Low price.
- Sound Quality: Fact is cable headphone has better sound quality than Bluetooth. Bluetooth is more flexible than cable headphones. With handle-pal, the user will be able to have the sound quality of cable headphone and the flexibility of Bluetooth headphone while biking.
- Save touch screen: In some cases, the touch screen does not work as we want it to. For example, It’s raining and you don’t want the phone to get wet and cause water damage to the smartphone. There is where Handle pal comes in handy, It gives the user full control of the smartphones by acting as a remote to you smartphone.
What are the weaknesses of our concept?
- Placement: The placement of handle-pal is right next to the bell on the handle. The downside of this is it can be hard to reach with the bell in between the hand and the handle pal. In the later on development, we will improve this issue by redesigning the handle-pal to make it easier and more natural for the user to interact with.
- Waterproof: This version of our product does not have waterproof material, but that is on our development plan, to make handle pal waterproof.
- Battery slot: Our product handle-pal needs a coin cell battery, This version of handle pal does not include a battery slot. If the user would like to change the battery, They will have to open the case and put it on the board.
- production: The case of handle pal is made by 3D printing. It’s exciting new technology but in the production perspective, it takes too much time to print one case. In the future, if we proceed to mass production module injection would be a better and faster solution.
- Material: This version of handle pal need a component called light blue bean, this component costs too much in the production process. On our development plan, we will find the alternative to replace light blue bean with normal BLE that’s imported from china. this way we can reduce 80% of the production cost. This will give us a much bigger profit margin.
- Technical: This current version of handle pal connects to the app our team developed, which means that the user can only access the songs in this app. The better option for the develop in the future would connect the handle pal to existing apps such as Spotify or Soundcloud. this way the user will be able to access their own playlist without installing an extra application on their phone.
What went well regarding to the process ?
- Concept: In the beginning of the project, we had some difficult time with coming up with ideas that fit everyone’s interest and at the same time it should be a concept that can fit the market’s needs. In the end of brainstorming, we come up with an idea that all of us like and we stick to it even when the process gets more and more difficult in the development stage.
- Planning: We planned out when should the technical development be done, when should the design process be finished, same goes with marketing and research process. With a little bit of delay but we more or less deliveries the work in time. The other positive thing is that we come up with a plan B when the process seems to be impossible to achieve. The overall development more or less matches with our planning.
- Teamwork: We have a team of five, which is quite a big group. Every one of us has a main focus area of this project. For example, rob’s focus is on visual development and product design, Paul’s focus is on 3D design and 3D printing etc. One of reason is that it helps all of us to build up our portfolio towards the profession we want to do in the future. All the tasks connect with others. For example, rob made the sketch of product design and give it to Paul make 3D model and print. For me, my focus was on visual development, but due to the technical difficulty of this concept, I helped our programmer to do some technical work to make sure the development move on smoothly. It’s also mentioned on the blog.
- Team relationship: Over the past eight weeks of the project, our teammates did not have any real negative feeling toward each other. We are able to communicate with each other calmly when there is some unexpected situation happened during the development. The team maintained a healthy working relation from the beginning to the end.
- Passionate: After the brainstorming process we had the concept of handle-pal. All the team members liked the concept and we are all passionate about it. We believe this concept is something useful and awesome and ready to put energy to it and make it happen. In the end, we did make it happen, the passion for the concept is one of the key element that we make this concept coming all together.
- Adapt feedback: Every week we will go to the lessons and ask feedback from the teacher. We adjusted our team plan and development direction base on the feedback the teachers gave us. Do work that the teacher mentioned to us that we didn’t think of ourselves, for example, the league issues of listening to music while biking in holland. The Profit margin and control the finance input of mass production etc.
What could be better regarding to the process ?
- Delivery tasks: We all had times that didn’t deliver the tasks we suppose to delivery from time to time, some people had more of that delay than some people had less. Which caused the delay of the overall development process. In the perspective, we could improve ourselves and put the team on the top of our list. think about the consequence if we don’t deliver the things we supposed to deliver, How important is that task? can that task wait or not. Also, we should inform the teammates if the task can not be delivered in time. Ask help from another team member.
- Team meeting: For the team meeting, We mostly see it as a place to discuss what we should do for next week and share the work we did from last week. What we could improve is that prepare some question before the meeting and discuss it with the team. Also this way we could get help from the teacher more effectively.
- Stress management: I will take myself as an example for stress management. When I was developing the technical part of handle pal, I had some difficult time with the coding and no one seems to be able to help me with the task. My stress level went very high and in a way make the development process a bit slow. what I could have done is to take one day off without thinking about it and then come back to the work I left. This way I can see the mistakes I made earlier.
The value I provided to the team
My original personal learning goal is visual development & concept art. Due to the technical difficulty of the project I switched my focus on the technical aspect instead to help the development move along smoother. Here is the main work I have been working on for the past 8 weeks.
- Make the connection between a light blue bean and the smartphone
- Design the User interface of the mobile app
- Designing the webpage of Kickstarter link
In general, I think the process of the product development went very well. We had a planning and a clear division of roles within the team. Everyone showed up and put a sufficient amount of work in their role.
The first weeks were a bit less organized, as not everyone made their blogs in the right week according to the workbook and we were starting to fall a bit behind. I think Qu did a great job here in organizing our work and setting deadlines as a team. From this point, everyone did their work and made their blog posts on time.
The idea for our product came pretty quickly, so we already had a good basis to work with from the start on. The code was first written before the design phase of the product came to be.
The product has gone through several concepts before the final design could be made. We had a number of requirements that the product has to meet and we found new ones with every step. This has been a great learning process.
- First draft
- Design was too hard to pull off
- Would not be practical, clunky and not ergonomic
2. Second draft
- Too heavy and clunky
- Not aesthetically pleasing
- Too expensive
3. Final design
After the first 3D printed prototype, we had a group brainstorm session on how to improve the product.
- Design is inexpensive
- Design is small and light
- Currently there are no product with the same set of features
- Similar products are more expensive and not suitable for our target group
- Pain reliever: Not having to operate phone on bike, creates traffic safety
- Motivates to take the bike more often
- Detachable and easy to bring
- Might not be compatible with every bicycle handle because of the orientation of the buttons
In my opinion I succesfully worked at my learning goals during this project. My goal was to improve my illustrative skills and create a representative product.
Throughout the several design steps and improvements I have learned how to demonstrate the looks of a physical product to make it a working prototype.
I also practiced with a new technique to visualize a product, by first making a 3D sketch in SketchUp and tracing this in photoshop. I found that this is a very fast and effective way to make drafts.
What went well
In general, I think this project went very well on group level and individual level.
- We managed to finish all items and have a good in depth knowledge on our product
- We learned a lot by making and testing the physical product
- We managed to keep a steady planning schedule
What could be better
- On my part, I could have discussed more about the design in the group. This way we probably wouldn’t have as many redesign steps.