Savannah Swix

Achieving Trust and Success through Trial and Error

We are getting closer to hitting launch on our startups and as the weeks pass and we continue to dive deeper and deeper into research about our markets and our competitors, I have learned so much. It’s amazing what can be created with a team working together to produce something that each of us have individually invested something into to make it thrive.

The readings that we read for this week largely discussed the process of trial and error and what it means to create something that people can trust and will want to use to improve a part of their life.

Joe Gebbia, the co-founder of AirBnB – a company that I personally and professionally admire – said something at the end of his TED talk that really impacted me and related to our startup, Pushpin. He said, “Luck and timing aside, I’ve learned that you can take the components of trust and you can design for that. Design can overcome our most deeply-rooted Stranger-Danger bias … We know design won’t solve all of the world’s problems, but if it can help out with this one, if it can make a dent in this it makes me wonder: What else can we design for next?”

One of the things my team discovered through our market research is that some of the people we spoke to said they would be skeptical of the information posted on a social networking/blogging site like Pushpin as opposed to what the official business or hotel info says. We, as a company, would have to find a way to build trust and ensure that our account holders would have the best chance of finding the reviews and information that they need to plan a trip.

I really appreciate that Gebbia discussed design at length because it is very important. It can tell so much about who you are as a company and whether the people who find your content can rely on it. If you put the work in to make it look good and read great, you’re doing something right.

As we learned from the article about Nextdoor, sometimes you create a great product, but something unanticipated occurs, like the app’s trouble with racial bias and profiling in neighborhoods. The team at Nextdoor was able to acknowledge the issues by seeking out the people and organizations that could help them to implement a solution that would turn it all around. I think in situations like this one, there’s always going to be critics who aren’t willing to give it a second chance. The bottom line is to show effort, which even the critics of Nextdoor said the company had done, however, it was not enough to eliminate the problems.

The dilemma that Nextdoor faced really emphasizes the importance of releasing a Minimum Viable Product for your startup, as discussed in many of the other articles this week. The article “A Minimum Viable Product Is Not a Product, It’s a Process” by Yevgeniy (Jim) Brikman says that once the MVP has been sent out and tested “you’ll have to go back to the drawing board not just once, but over and over again.” It helps you to see where any backlash may happen or what features your users want to see. I had not thought of this much before the day in class that we learned about it, but it was very interesting to me!

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