Idea Incubator Prototype

    Nice pictureHello.
    The purpose of this article: to present one of the ideas that have accumulated in my mind and test it for survivability. You know how in flexible methodologies they make a prototype and show it to the customer. I decided to do the same, namely: I took the key functionality and described it in the form of a user story.

    Before presenting the product, it is necessary to describe the subject area.
    I position my product as a tool for “incubating” ideas. Recently, the concept of “startup incubator” has become fashionable, but what about those who have not yet matured from an idea to the start-up stage? In this regard, I had the assumption - many ideas die, remaining without the support of a strong team. The task is clear, the problem is outlined.

    For the first iteration, I propose a tool for incubating ideas and finding personnel, which in the future can grow to a full-fledged service offering the following range of services:
    1) Business and system analysis of the idea;
    2) HR management and staff search for startups.
    3) Search for interesting projects for the applicant.

    It will turn out a hybrid of a social network and a freelance exchange. But it will be a very “smart freelance exchange”. The employer does not offer work, but “invents” the project together with potential employees.
    Each product should have a beautiful name. The name that distinguishes it from other products of the information landscape, which is used by the target audience of this product. I propose the working name FocusTeam.

    We return, in fact, to the User Story project itself. Do you mind if I give illustrations in UML? This is the most familiar technique for me.
    In this part of the article, I will tell you two stories that happened with two characters. The first character will be named Misha, and his need is to talk about the idea. See Fig. 1

    Ideas incubator

    Fig. 1
    Misha - Project Manager, works for a company that is a contractor for a large plant and serves the product they once wrote. A lot of Wishlist comes from the customer and a lot of small projects are being conducted. Misha has been conducting the project since his birth, he has many ideas, but the customer does not want to spend time and money on them.
    Then he decided to talk about the idea and somehow miraculously got to the FocusTeam website.

    On the start page, Misha saw a form called Focus, in which the system offers to write the idea. Filling in the form fields Misha receives prompts of the type:
    - 90% of users read ideas consisting of no more than 200 characters.
    - The idea should give the reader goosebumps.
    - Attach a couple of documents to the Focus form with a detailed description of the idea, if any (we will call them Focus Art.)
    Misha does not have a detailed description of the idea, so he wrote:
    “An operating system with a distributed core for the Internet of things. The goal is big computing on small devices. ”
    And he clicked the“ Focused ”button.
    A dialog box appears calling for authorization on the service.
    Misha is registered on Facebook, so he allowed FocusTeam access to his personal data.
    The system asked: “what skills can he cover in his project”? Misha chose the roles of Product Manager and Project Manager, and also indicated the scope of his financial and resource investments. Namely - $ 1000 of start-up capital, 1 home server and 30% of personal employment in the project (he did not risk throwing the main source of income yet)
    Then the system asked him - “What do you want to do now”
    A. Discuss the idea
    B. Start bashing the team .
    Misha still does not know the vitality of his idea, so he chose option A and went to bed. But it wasn’t there, after half an hour on Skype, Misha received the following message:
    “Good evening, you are welcomed by the business architect of the FocusTeam team. I have a couple of ideas and a proposal to discuss them. ”

    Misha talked with a team member for about an hour and made some adjustments to his idea.
    The next day, a certain Grisha contacted him. He is an experienced developer who specializes in embedded systems development and FocusTeam recommended him the Misha project with the highest priority.

    Misha happily responded to Grisha’s calls and together they described the subject area. Misha also threw a couple of tens of dollars into FocusTeam's account so that the idea would stay in Top for a couple of days. The weak team has a couple of artifacts and a few ratings. Things are already going well. It's time to think about the team.
    Misha consulted with Grisha and supplemented Focus with Team forms - vacancies in the team.
    On Grisha’s advice, these were the roles of “Analyst”, “Marketer”, “FrontEnd Developer”, 2 developers S. Grisha became the Architect of the project.

    Then came the search for candidates, the HR system of the FocusTeam project gave tips on the candidates, Grisha chose the people who applied. And Misha, meanwhile, was thinking about the project plan.
    And so, we examined two cases: Tell us about an idea and Put together a team. But I promised to tell you 2 stories. And so, in fact, the story of Grisha.

    Grisha is an architect of embedded systems. Previously, he worked for a large company and even participated in the development of the operating system, but the project was bent and is currently working in freelance, dreaming of great things.
    Grisha has only one goal - to participate in an interesting project. He has been hooked on FocusTeam for a long time and every day he receives notifications about new ideas, polls, suggestions on his Twitter. We will depict our hero in Fig. 2

    Fig. 2
    One winter evening, he receives another notice from the FocusTeam HR system. “This is what I once did,” thought Grisha, but was disappointed by the lack of artifacts.
    Grisha on the recommendations of the system "90% of users communicate via Skype" wrote Misha and, it turned out, not in vain.
    So, does the applicant have less needs? You ask. I will answer - of course not. I will say even more, between the roles of the applicant and the “owner of the idea” there are rather vague borders, but for simplicity I have divided these two roles.
    I propose to end my story like this:
    The project is already in full swing. 5 more new members appeared. Misha said: “That's it, it's time to write a charter and a plan.” A large Skype conference took place in a few hours, and as a result, a charter and an enlarged plan appeared, which Misha carefully sent to all participants.
    Is the story with FocusTeam over for this team? After all, the core of the team, the team of ideological leaders, has been recruited. “No, I will not delete the project profile, thought Misha,“ new people or new ideas for the project may always be needed. ”

    Afterword .

    I sketched a rather superficial prototype of the system, but, nevertheless, it can be used to determine the target audience of the new service and understand its main idea.
    The site itself, with which our main characters interact, is only a tool for automating a business process in which many people participate. Note that of the living participants in the system in this scenario, only a business architect is indicated, a living person can also stand behind the HR system, but with a greater desire it can be automated.
    In general, I told you the very essence of the idea, while many conceptual questions remain. If my idea gets a positive assessment, I will continue to study this topic. Thanks for attention.
    UDP: according to the results of the discussion: perhaps the functional of evaluating and evolving an idea is more interesting to people than the functional of selecting startup partners. I’ll try to launch a vote in order to find out the opinion of the reader on this issue.

    Only registered users can participate in the survey. Please come in.

    What functionality should be emphasized?

    • 22.2% Presentation, evaluation, evolution of an idea 2
    • 77.7% Selection of partners / employees in the project. 7

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