Starting with the first question
of design enquiry i.e. what is the problem that inspires the founders of the
company? It all started when the CEO of the company, Alex, moved to china.
It is quite common to eat rice
and noodle in every meal. And because of this sudden change in diet he started
to gain weight. After few months, he gained so much weight that his wife
actually asked him if he was pregnant…… this sounds funny but Alex got so
worried that he started to diet and exercise at the same time. After two weeks
of intense workout when he stepped on the weighing scale, he was shocked because the scale showed exactly 4 pounds more than his
pre-diet weight. First, he became really frustrated, but then
recognized that his body shape and appearance had actually changed a lot. He
was definitely leaner and more toned. Then, he finally understood that he had
replaced fat with muscles. So, the simple explanation behind his weight gain
was that muscle takes less place but weighs more than body fat.
This was the time when an idea
struck his mind. Alex realised that tracking the shape, surface and volume changes
in the body would allow for a much better measure of his progress than a body
weight number. So finally, in December 2014, Alex and Martin became a team to
bring ShapeScale to life. As a part of the ethnographic research both of them interviewed
people in front of gyms in exchange of smoothies. I think Alex took a very
smart move to approach people in front of gyms because these are the people who
will be the extreme users of their product.
Talking about users/stakeholder, the ordinary users of Shapescale will
be people who want to reduce or gain their weight for specific occasions or people
who want to get fit in general. The extreme users will be people who are very
focused towards their health like athletes or people who regularly exercise and
go to gym. And finally, the occasional users of this product will be people who
just want to monitor their body at frequent intervals of time.
To start any company money is required. The company got funding in 2
stages. In the first stage Scale raised money through angel investors and
friends. From this funding, they made their first prototypes and rolled them
out in various locations of Silicon Valley. Before these prototypes the company
developed some concept models but those were just for testing.
Now I am going to talk about the marketing strategy of the company. I am
seriously impressed by it. As the first step the company released a product
video to see the customers response and reaction. The video got an astounding
response because it got shared 45k times and was watched by 8 million people. Through
this response the company became more confident and entered stage two of the
funding process. The video benefited the company a lot because the company was
able to raise $200K from 400 investors through equity crowdfunding.