Project Everest

Work Update

[Experiment Adopted]: FarmEd Fiji - Currency testing - July 2018

Allan Jose
Allan Jose | Jul 20, 2018 | in FarmEd - Fiji

What is a sale? How to conduct currency tests?

In generic terms, a sale constitutes of exchanging an item for money. But is it possible to sell something that doesn’t exist?  Well… this week, FarmEd II conducted currency tests to see if people are interested in a farming advice app using a simple demonstration. There are three parts to this: Empathy, Demonstration and MoU.

Empathy: Our team worked out a set of questions to ask the farmers to understand their pain points and created a pitch to extract this information. The key is to ask basic questions about crops, farming history, infrastructure and current problems without turning it into a survey. For this, we need to relate to them so that you earn their trust and they speak freely to you.

Before conducting a demo, we made it clear to the farmers that these are just preliminary tests and they shouldn’t change their current farming practices based on our advice. We also charged them $1 prior to the demo to see their willingness to pay. If they were unwilling to pay the amount, we skipped past the demo and asked them a few questions regarding bills.

Demonstration: To get the idea of the app across the farmers, our team member, Ian Fraser, coded a software in C++ that can spit out the ideal crops using month and pH. This was carried out by planting a sensor on the farm and getting them to send a photo of the pH to a Facebook page FarmEd created. A receiver with the C++ software will put the number into the software and reply with the recommended crops. Once they saw the results, we asked them if they found the demo useful and the majority said YES!

MoU: Memorandum of Understanding is a non-binding legal document which states that they are interested in the product and are willing to pay the required amount if the product was available. After asking a few questions about their home & farm bills, we asked them if they are interested in the app. If they say yes, we ask them how much and how often. The MoU is signed and a sale is made if they accept to work with us and are happy to pay the sum they suggested on a regular basis once the app is out but does not mean that it’s compulsory to pay for the app once it’s released.

Thus far we have 25 valid currency tests out of the monthly goal of 40. The team is hard at work, visiting villages and individual farmers in the valley everyday to broaden the sample size. An unpaid demo or an unsigned MoU is not seen as a problem but rather an opportunity to improve our approach to tailor the app to attract every farmer.

edited on 6th September 2018, 01:09 by Justin Hakeem

Patrick Edwards Jul 20, 2018

Hey Allan,

That's a brilliant currency test, I love it! Is that software able to be shared on different computers so that we could potentially adapt it to the Timorese context for use?

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Ian Fraser Jul 23, 2018

Hey Patrick

At the moment the program we're using is very specific to FarmEd Fiji, but if it is something that teams from other countries were interested in using then I would keen in making it more universal and accessible through the drive.

Sadly I don't think this will happen before the end of July, but by November I think PEV is hoping to have a proper MVP for teams to use.

Watch this space ;)

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Wade Tink Jul 23, 2018

Great to see you testing the MVP in the field and it makes sense that you would do so with out a physical product given that you don't want to waste resources building something that the market doesn't want.
Following on from Patrick's comment it would be great if this post detailed the results of the experiment. Here you outline some of the method but it lacks details- what is the MoU? Post it. What did you walk them through in the test? What was the script?
Most importantly what were the results and what have you learnt in this process?

How has this shaped the 'customer segment', 'problem' and 'Unique value proposition' on the lean canvas?

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Wade Tink Jul 23, 2018

Status label added: Experiment adopted

Please provide results

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Olivia King Jul 26, 2018

Hey Allan, I would love to read more about risks and mitigation with regards to the offer tests.

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Wade Tink Oct 18, 2018

Status label added: Work Update

Status label removed: Experiment adopted

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