Our team originally formed to solve a problem facing anyone who has done public speaking gigs - it’s difficult to get honest, timely feedback on your performance. We envisioned an app that would allow audience members to give feedback to speakers as they were presenting. The entire team had given talks in the past and felt unsatisfied with the type of feedback available to us, and were interested in designing a tool that would give us and other speakers information that we could use to improve our public speaking skills.
Myself and another teammate interviewed about a dozen potential users to validate our idea. Our interview pool consisted of people who regularly give speeches or talks as part of their job, hobby, or educational career. It was clear from this first set of user research that our plan was a poor one. People hated the idea of audience members paying attention to their phone as they rated the speaker, rather than actually paying attention to the speaker during their presentation. There was clearly not an interest or a market for this type of solution.
With that knowledge, we quickly pivoted and entertained several possible apps focused on speech preparation and coaching. After some initial market analysis, we realized that our target market (those that gives speeches), was rather small and that these app ideas did not carry high business potential.
Thirty-six hours into the 48-hour challenge, we pivoted again. Although our original ideas fell through, there are other sizable markets that are interested in coaching and feedback solutions for high pressure situations. One of the highest pressure situations we had all experienced were interviews. In an interview, the stakes are high, with a similarly high incentive to prepare well. Yet the tools to do so are virtually nonexistent. An interviewee has to rely on possibly outdated, poorly organized forums and opportunistic Google searches. The probability of finding high quality resources for tough interview question prep is frustratingly low. Add in the fact that preparing for interviews can be incredibly isolating if you don’t know where to turn for advice. We felt this was a problem that would resonate with many people.