Identifying a problem worth solving: the hardest task when creating a new business

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During this class we decided on who we wanted to work with and develop our business with. At this stage it was still quite hard to know exactly who we might work well with and I think a lot of the teams fell together through similar interests and ideas. Our team, SKKT is made up of myself, Kantida, Joe (Kijsuchon) and Timsi. 

Once the team was formed we talked to each other and decided we should think about ideas by ourselves for a little while, then come together and discuss the ideas together. We all looked at problems we face as consumers ourselves as a starting point, as this would be a lot easier to design for.

Some of the problems we discussed are:

  • Using our phone when it’s raining, the touchscreen does not work when wet
  • Problem with our feet getting cold during winter and when it rains, and in a similar vein, socks getting wet during very wet weather.
  • Smartphone running out of battery but not having access to a charger, how can we produce a service for this?
  • One of my big problems is carrying my coat when it’s cold in the morning but warmer during the day. It’s often heavy and an inconvenience to carry it around.
  • Clothes hangers causing clothes to stretch when putting clothes on them.
  • Problem with storing vegetables which have been cut but not used, for example salads will wilt away after a few hours if not stored properly.
  • Problems with consistently exercising and keeping the habit, or staying motivated to exercise.

The problem we chose after discussing for a few hours was the problem with staying motivated to exercise. The problem was first explained by Kantida, as a beginner it’s sometimes hard to know exactly how to do every exercise and so you have to use your phone or a poster to look up the exercises. The problem often is that phone screens turn off after a few seconds, and posters aren’t easy to read which can cause you to give up as you are discouraged from being unable to do something. After brainstorming around the idea we settled on the idea to create an exercise mat which has instructions printed on it.

We first wanted to create a range of mats for different levels of users, and print exercises on both sides of the mat. The instructions would be along the top and the bottom of the mat, leaving the middle plain as it’s often where most people would sit on the mat.

We presented a bodystorm in which Joe acted as a beginner in the gym looking at instructional posters on a wall and not really being successful in exercising.

The feedback from the class was that they understood our problem but didn’t understand the solution. Most people use their smartphones to look up instructions and they wouldn’t want to buy multiple mats as they got better at working out. Some had concerns about printing on both sides, as most would only use one side and allow the other side to get dirty.

So far the experience has been good, my teammates are very attentive and listen when each of us are speaking. We came up with so many ideas which otherwise may not have been possible on our own because we don’t have the insights or perspectives that the other person has.

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