Hatch is a peer-to-peer skills-exchange platform designed to create a more collaborative and conducive learning environment for students by encouraging them to help one another. It is a platform and encourages openness and collaboration in learning, so everyone can learn, grow and share with one another.
Duration: 12 weeks
Design Tool: Sketch, Paper & Pen, Sticky note, Paper MVP
Practiced Skills: Competitive Analysis, Business Model Canvas, Lean Start-up, Quantitative Research, User Interview, Usability Testing, Persona, Business Module, Steve Blank’s Customer Development
Zhuolan Zhang (CFO)
==> Gain an understanding of entrepreneurship and interaction design and use lean start-up methodology to practice.
==> Provide practical experience using design methods and creating design deliverables.
==> Improve individual and collaborative skills in problem-solving, communication, and creative thinking.
Problem to be solved:
==> Students are constantly learning new things and often encounter hiccups in the process. They try to figure it out on their own but to no avail because problem-solving alone isn't the most effective way.
Feature For the Design
1. Suggested Peers
2. Chat - Contact your Peers/ Schedule Time
3. Profile - Set learning goal
1. Help students expand their connections
2. Create opportunities for students to learn from each other.
Ideation & User Research
Brainstormed who might be potential customers and their needs (using the molecule ) conducted initial interviews with our target customers.
Conducted 8 target users' interviews to further understand their thoughts and behaviors. Recruited people and tested out our minimal viable product.
Marketing & Bussiness Model
Researched the marketplace and planned out marketing strategy. Developed business model canvas
Designed and delivered the final minimal viable product that supports the completion of 4 tasks learning and sharing, suggest peers, connect, chat
Phase 1 Concept Ideation
In this phase, We form our team Hatch and start to brainstorm our business concept from three perspectives: people, problem, and product. And validate some hypotheses through interviews and questionnaires.
Firstly, each of us wrote down our ideas and draw out a short cartoon story to represent potential problems. We then reorganize different ideas into different categories. We voted for one direction and created a module and key feature of the solution to that problem.
Each of us creates a persona individually by writing down our target users' behaviors, demographics, and needs & goals. Then we combined our persona into one persona that covers all the important features.
Phase 2 Concept Validation
In this phase, We validated our concept through interviews, questionnaires, and recruiting participants through different marketing methods. We gained constructive insights which helped us to make design decisions.
We finally settled with this molecule—targeting students. The problem is that problem-solving alone isn’t always the most effective. The solution we thought of is a bartering app for skill-sharing. We posted general questions to the public and get some real feedback from our target audience. We conducted qualitative and qualitative research to validate our hypothesis by interviewing students, teachers, and asking questions to the general public through Reddit, and school posters.
We posted a huge poster around campus. We encouraged people to respond to the poster by writing down their most efficient way to learn a new skill. From the responses, we knew that asking someone who know the skill is the most efficient way to learn.
We inquired on Reddit about the way they learn skills and we got plenty of positive responses about learning skills from friends and peers. It turned out that mutual learning is one of the most efficient ways.
Customer Interviews with Students
We interviewed 8 students to understand their perceptions around helping their peers and the key things we learned are that:
1. Helping others is also a form of learning.
"Helping others is also a way for me to revise the subject and to learn again." —Tara
A few other students also mentioned that when they're helping and teaching their friends, they get a recap of what they learned, and in turn, know and understand it better.
2. There is hesitation in asking for help.
"I feel burdensome when I have questions because it might sound silly." —Elijah
People do not want to seem like a burden and usually only ask for help when friends who can help them are physically near them.
We created a paper MVP box that enabled the students who were interested in mutual learning to sign up for our experiment. We were also on-site to publicize our new initiative and garner sign-ups for interested parties. We did this for about three days and 80 people signed up.
We posted posters, flyers, and stickers around the campus. Students can scan the QR Code and fill out our online sign-up form.
Marketing Poster & Sticker
We posted our posters and latest activities on Instagram and Facebook, as well as established our landing page.
Instagram Post & Website
We got 117 QR code scans and 81 sign-ups in only 3 weeks!
As we successfully recruited participants, we prototyped the learning exchange experience by pairing students up manually by their complementary interests to pretend we were the algorithm of our app. In two weeks, we ran 12 experiences (6 pairs of students) in total.
We listed out some dangerous assumptions that might affect our design and validate them.
Mutual learning Experiments
Phase 3 Business Model
In this phase, We created a completed business model canvas and conducted marketing & growth research based on the data we collected from our interviews and experiments
Business Model Canvas
1. We plan to establish customer relationships through self-service and automated processes. and our customers can access the service by App and website.
2. We hope to create value for students by helping them solve project-related problems. Sharing experiences can reinforce skills by learning & teaching each other.
3. The main activity for our team will be designing and maintaining the platform, getting more students to participate, and developing match algorithms.
4. Our key resources are web hosting, data analysis, developers of the platform. The main cost will be App maintenance, company maintenance, employment, and marketing.
5. We decided to make our product free for the students, But students can pay when they need help urgently. We are also exploring virtual gifts so that people can show their appreciation for each other.
6. We will partner with software companies and schools and may resell data to companies, but only data that relates to the functionalities of the software.
Final Molecule & Our Mission
This is our final molecule. Target user: College students who are seeking academic help. The problem is that students are hard to ask for help because of limited connection and one-sided contribution. The solution is a P2P skilling-sharing app that connects students to learn mutually. Our mission is to cultivate an open, collaborative community where everyone can learn, share and grow together!
Openness to Learn collaboratively from others
cultivating a culture for lifelong learning & self-improvement
Caring for each other. Trusting one another
Growing together, not winning alone
Everyone has a superpower----
Serving others with your strength, allowing them to help with your weakness
Some students learn on their own. But we are different! Sharing is our goal. We shall be open and learn collaboratively from others! We believe curiosity is irreplaceable for students! We shall cultivate a culture for lifelong learning and self-improvement. We should care for each other, trust one another, and grow together! We resist winning alone. Everyone has a superpower! And we are committed to serve others with our strength and allow them to help with our weaknesses! We want to live in a world where sharing is a habit.
We determined our Serviceable Addressable Market as college students in the U.S. using additional academic services and found out numbers of people is12.7 million based on research. Then we think our service is able to achieve 5% of that market which gave us the number 636,800 people as our initial goal.
We inputted key activities prior to purchasing into the marketing funnel and used our experiment data to calculate the number of people who will pay for our service. We used this algorism to calculate our revenue for the scaled number of customers.
Then we calculated the annual customer growth and revenue using the user acquisition algorism and got the data of custom growth and revenue model for the first year and the second year. The result showed that we would reach out to the breakeven point in 10-11 months
We developed four key strategies to grow our customers, we were planning to create partnerships with the school by offering them free use of services. We would also focus on gaining customers through 1-for-1invitation. We notice that onsite recruitment was effective, so we planned to arrange events on campus to gain more customers
Estimate Cost Structure
At the beginning of the company, We planned to hire a lead developer, data scientist, and customer support. Our total salaries to spend is $467,000. We estimated our legal and accounting fee as $6,600, supplies and logistics as $5,400, and marketing cost as $ 124,748 which is 20% of total cost.
Our revenue was divided into two parts: customers paid premium and advertising. We priced our service at $0.99/month for premium, which enables the customers to have 50 connections/month and able to access their partner person account. For advertising, we can charge $0.44 for cost-per-click and $2.8/1000 for cost-per-mille.
At the end of the course, we had an ask of $520,000 to kickstart our product and achieve our next milestones and pitched this to a group of 11 venture capitalists. In the end, we got 9/11 venture capitalists’ funding, totaling the investment to $1,681,500!
Phase 4 Product Development
In this phase, We developed our hatch mutual learning App with attractive color and interaction.
Credited to Anchi Hsin & Nathalia Kasman
Learning and Sharing Goals
Students will be prompted to write their learning and sharing goals during sign-up when they are creating their profile. This is to ensure that we can assess and connect students compatibly through their shared learning/sharing goals and interests.
Hatch suggests peers to students that might make compatible learning partners by aligning their learning goals and interests. This is so that students can bond and continue supporting each other throughout their learning journey.
Hatch will then suggest peers with similar learning interests so they can for a learning partnership. Students can connect with one another should they wish to.
After students have connected with one another, they can converse with their learning peers and get to know one another. At the beginning of each conversation, Hatch will help to break the ice by starting the conversation for them. This way, they will be able to orientate and continue the conversation.
Phase 5 Insight & Learning
In this phase, we summarized the key learnings for this entrepreneur experience.
People and things
In the three months of cooperation, we continued to work and run-in together. In the beginning, everyone had a lot of disagreements, but each of us accepted other people’s suggestions and respected others’ ideas. So, everyone’s thoughts had been developed into the project. Proudly speaking, this was a real project that was made by us together.
Time and Plan Arrangement
Good schedule and planning made the completion of a project. Our team started preparing the final pitch as early as four weeks ago. We had detailed the goals for each week. We used the time together to solve the problems we had encountered. Our preparation helped us smoothly and thoroughly presented our pitch. In a word, proper planning makes a good result.
A big picture of a project
By modifying our pitch presentation, I learned how to arrange essential elements in a limited amount of time. When the showtime is only 7 minutes, it is critical to allocate the information you need every minute. It can ensure no waste of time, and keep relevant information for communicating the significant data to the audience within 7 minutes.
A good team fosters confidence and cohesion. I enjoyed the time when we work together. I learned how to voice myself. To do that it must be justified and informative when you say your idea, and the way of expression should also be compelling and confidential.
Setting up a company
The most important thing was to learn how to start a business — what and how to do for every critical step in the real build. Moreover, when pivoting the concept, how to convince yourself and your teammates to abandon the previous efforts and believe that the next plan will be better.