Monday, February 18, 2013

Customer Discovery Round 2

Our first year TI:GER teams are now in the middle of customer discovery interviews. This has been an incredibly interesting process and has been my favorite TI:GER experience so far. It's interesting to see ideas and concepts formed within a small group get such varied reactions when explained to the people whom would actually use our product. 

We met on Friday with Campus Services at Emory University. Both an environmental engineer and the director were on hand to answer questions from our team about sustainable design at Emory. The campus already hosts the highest number of LEED certified buildings on any campus in the nation, so our team decided they'd be a great place to start. 

What came out of our interview was that one of our more minor "customer value propositions" (aesthetic appeal) was, for Emory, a major concern. They believe current solar technology is being held back by appearance as well as costs. This finding has certainly shifted our group's focus to aesthetic design in a strong way. 

That is, at its core, what the customer discovery process is all about. We are working towards creating a prototype that is tailored to customer needs and that involves getting out of the office to talk to customers! We have several interviews left with folks further on the construction side of the industry. Emory provided some great contacts with various links in the building materials supply chain. Hopefully understanding more about this process will allow our team to target the correct channel as well as customer to get our product to market. 

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