In the first two entries on Butterfly – found here https://blog.protegra.com/category/butterfly/ – I outlined the initial concept and how we have gone about developing the idea. In the most recent entry I also mentioned an acquisition website. This blog entry will further explain what is meant by this term, and how we think the website will work.
Right now we have built our first version of the website and are a few days away from “soft-launch”. Here’s the scenario: we think it looks great, we have kept within budget, and we have tested it fairly extensively; however, we have no idea if people will like it, how they will use it, or even if anyone will visit the thing. Sound familiar? If it does you’re in great company. (UPDATE – we have launched the website – http://www.ourbutterfly.com)
What we have created with version 1 is what we call the Minimum Viable Product, or MVP . What the MVP represents is the minimum amount of product/service a potential customer would be willing to engage with in order to solve their problem. Butterfly’s MVP is based on the research we conducted using the Customer Development Process (more information here – https://blog.protegra.com/2014/06/06/butterfly-concept-development-philosophy/). We build based on what we learn from interacting with potential users of the service.
Our initial website – alternatively called an acquisition or enlistment site – is also set up to gain minimum amount of commitment from potential users of Butterfly, whether they are volunteers, mentors, or donors. All they need to do is provide us with some basic information and we – in the background – will make the connections between them. As currently envisioned the future servicewill be more fully automated and “visible” for users and, on the flip side, be less labour-intensive for me.
Until we get there, the MVP site for Butterfly should provide us with some useful information from which we can quickly learn and enhance the site with features that users want. In fact, this MVP site provides us with the most meaningful and useful path to get to our future site, as we will only build what users need. Part of what will inform what users need is not only the feedback and metrics we get from the website itself, but also what we learn from running pilot projects this summer with youth so that we build features that are valuable and help us quickly scale. The cartoon below sums up my point succinctly.
In short, our hope is that people will sign up to the service so that we can start learning more about what people want to do, how they want to do it, and what we need to provide to them from a service perspective. Anyone can build a website, what we are looking to do is create something that solves the problem. It’s that simple.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions or comments, I am always interested in feedback!