Tomas Harryson - Watch First
Tomas Harryson - Watch First
Describe yourself and your project. How did you get the idea?
During working at a consultancy firm in Lund, we realized there are no easy-to-use, high-detailed and precise methods of measuring time for multiple projects and employees within a company that doesn´t require spending half a work day to actually use. Most time logging tools are either too crude, or too complex to use so employees tend to ignore and forget logging their hours, which result in loss of income for the company and the employee.
Who are you? Previous education/jobs/ experiences etc.
We are a team of three people currently working on this project. Two of us are students at LTH and the third have a degree in economics. We have a mix of experiences in the team, both in PR-management as well as knowledge of the ICT-area and experiences of working in both the private and public sector within these fields.
What will you do during these three months? How will you spend the time?
At the end of the summer, we hope to have a MVP (Minimum Viable Product) up and running and we have also managed to get a decent group of alpha and beta testers with ties to the industry. We should have at a MVP for one platform (probably Android) up and running.
What do you expect to achieve during Leapfrogs?
Our motto is a mix of “Is it crisp enough?” and “Fail fast”, which sets the scope for our project. Instead of never leaving the drawing board, we hope to try our ideas as soon as possible – and reiterate if/when it hits a bump in the road.
Tomas Harryson - Watch First #2
Tell us what you have done on your project so far during the Leapfrogs time.
On the business side; we have created a preliminary business model and identified our hypothesis and what parts of our idea that needs validation and verification. On the technology side, we have studied machine learning and have run through a 10 week online course in machine learning in one week - with various results. But thanks to that information, we've built primitive models for classification and categorizing data, as well as identified what we should focus on next. We also have specified and started implementing a data model for data
Has everything gone according to the plan? Has anything unexpected occurred? Has something been easier/harder than expected?
When we started the project we had a clear vision of having almost all code as open source. This have changed a bit, since we have identified that some core aspects have to be proprietary in order for us to keep an edge. The plan is still to open source as much as we can, but we will have to make a more in-depth analysis before we can decide what we can release as open source and not.
What will you focus on during the remaining time? Will you follow your original plan or has anything changed along the way?
One of our main goals for the nearest future is to validate that we actually have a product that our customers want to buy, and that will have our main focus for the time being. We are focusing on determining what needs our customers actually have, and in order to create a MVP, reduce the amount of features to only satisfy those needs - and adding more features later on.
Tomas Harryson - Watch First #3
How did you experience the three months?
Even though we haven't reached all the goals we set for ourselves in the beginning of the summer, we have reached many important milestones and are well on our way to fulfilling our primary goals; releasing a minimum viable product that can be used for showcasing our product. It has been fun and enjoyable to be able to work on a real project with real goals and challenges and applying the theoretical knowledge from studies on a practical issue.
What has been hardest/most enjoyable?
The hardest part have been to correctly estimate the time required for each task. Since we are developing a product while also learning new techniques and systems things tend to take longer time than initially estimated, and since we try to keep the standards high as well – things take even longer. Most enjoyable have been to be able to work with our own idea and towards our own goals for the summer.
Did it go as expected? Will you continue working on your project in the future?
We thought we would have a beta software up and running at this stage, but we underestimated the requirements for data storage and the complex requirements for information flow in our system and are a bit behind schedule. We will continue to work on our product this fall, and are in the early stages of starting a limited liability company and have identified that we will have an early version of our product available in the middle of fall 2015.
What would you say is the most important lesson learnt while working on your project?
Things take more time than you'd think, especially if you are doing things that you haven't tried before. This might seem like a no-brainer, but even when we tried overestimating the time required for certain tasks – it was often delayed even more. One more thing is to make sure you often pitch your ideas to “outsiders”, to gain their perspective on your idea/product. We've received tons of valuable knowledge and insights from discussing our idea with friends and relatives.
Do you have any tips to other ”new” entrepreneurs?
Don't be afraid to iterate your idea over and over. We have tried to adopt the 'fail fast'-motto in our work. Changes to a product or idea will be more expensive in the late stages of development, and changes should be implemented as early as possible to avoid resource drain (time, money, people). So don't be afraid to fail, especially in the early stages of the product lifecycle.