Project Everest

Proposed Experiment

[JAN 19 Timor] Sensor Currency Test (Solution)

Chris Zancanaro
Chris Zancanaro | Jan 2, 2019 | in FarmEd - Timor-Leste

Lean Phase: Solution

Assumption: Farmers are interested in monitoring their own farm's data and not just the data supplied to them through the app. The interest is large enough that are willing to pay for the sensor.

Timeframe: 3 weeks


Metrics and success criteria:

Percentage of farmers who are willing to pay for sensors with the app.

Green Light:

Sufficient interest in soil sensor bundles exists (app plus sensor). Move to determine methods of large-scale distribution for soil sensors.
Set up 5 of these sensor sales as case studies. Future months may check in with these customers and determine the effectiveness of the soil sensors.

Success point:

20% or more farmers are willing to pay for a sensor and signed an EOI.

Orange Light:

Determine key blocks which are preventing farmers from investing in the sensors. Cost too high? No perceived value in soil tracking?

Failure Points:

10% or fewer farmers showed any interest in the sensors.

Red Light:

Re-assess feasibility of using soil sensors as data collectors. Compare with other options and proceed to re-test farmers interest.


Experiment Build:

  1. When completing a sale, introduce farmers to the soil sensor and the value it represents to their farm management.
  2. Explain how a soil sensor will personalise their experience with the app and provide more accurate advice for their situation.
  3. Measure their interest using an MOU form or if possible, close the sale.
  4. Ensure contact details are taken such that case studies can be continued. 


Find 10 farmers who are interested in acting as case studies for us.

Introduce sensors to 50 farmers. 



Sensor pricing is yet to be fully considered. A loan system may be required to complete case studies as we establish how the distribution and pricing will be worked out. 

edited on 15th January 2019, 22:01 by Harry Telford

James Balzer Jan 4, 2019

It's awesome to see that you're engaging with this side of FarmEd. However, I have frustrating news for you.

We ran a continuous MVP trial with our FarmEd Facebook page between July 2018 until December 2018. We left a series of farmers with soil sensors and asked them to send us regular data to test to see if they would use the sensors on a regular basis. Unfortunately we weren't particularly lucky with the results, as most of the farmers didn't bother sending data. Likewise, those that did were very irregular and non-reliable in doing so in a consistent manner. This is despite all of these farmers putting down a deposit on the sensors (i.e. sacrificing something of theirs for a temporary amount of time as a means of demonstrating their interest).

I would recommend that you take this in mind before you engage in this experiment, as the July 2018 FarmEd team invalidated the above assumption.

What I would do instead is consider investigating as to why the farmers that we handed the sensors to didn't use the sensors.

Likewise, it'd be useful to spend time attempting to validate the channels through which soil sensors can be distributed.

Users tagged:

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Brodie Leeson Jan 7, 2019

What were you planning to do for the case study? How were you planning to monitor use of the sensor? What channels?

20% Success point is very low. What was the justification for this? Would between 10 - 30% be a more reasonable orange light with green being over 30%?

As for pricing of the sensor we are looking at making them as available as possible. $8 AUD with the next batch of sensors is what we are looking at to cover costs. Were you looking at doing any currency testing with this?

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James Balzer Jan 11, 2019

I agree with Brodie. I think that you need to start considering what price point you're trying to pin the sensors at, and then figure out if that's a price point that the farmers are willing to pay. In July we sold the sensors at a $6.00 price point, and that got 6 farmers to put a down payment of $6.00. This was with the knowledge that they would get paid that money back later, but it still validated that people were willing to put money down on a a sensor.

This is something that you need to consider.

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Fiona Aaron Jan 8, 2019

With the red light here, I would add in re-assess sales pitch to see if the value prop is being effectively communicated. It is easy to jump to a problem with the product, but very important to understand if the farmers are effectively understanding the value proposition.

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Harry Telford Jan 15, 2019

Status label added: Proposed Experiment

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