Team: Power Puff
I spent this past weekend at the ProtoHackNYC Hackathon, and had the most incredible time. Not only was it my first condensed 12-hour hackathon (I participated in a 3-week one at General Assembly last year), but… our team won first place!
Why spend your free days at a hackathon, you may ask? Well he are five awesome reasons to sign up:
- Its so damn fun.
- You learn tons and meet a lot of great new people
- The tight timeline forces you to learn prioritizing skills
- You flex your design muscles
- Did I mention it’s really freaking fun?
The day started out with a 7AM meeting at the Starbucks around the corner from ImpactHub, where the event was held. My teammates and I didn’t come in with a concrete idea of what we wanted to make, so we had to immediately kick the brainstorming into high gear. Ultimately, after lots of debate, we all agreed to create an app that pertained to female reproductive health.
The next few hours were a haze of researching the technology on wearables (we’d like to integrate with fitbit, Apple Watch, etc.) and some competitive analysis on the other apps and platforms currently on the market. Once we got started, we quickly came to the realization that every part of female reproductive health involves the menstrual cycle, and decided to dig deeper. We each broke off and spoke to as many people as we could (in person or over the phone) in order to gain as much data as possible. At first I thought it would awkward to ask other ladies about their menstrual cycle, but within minutes I couldn’t have cares less about the potential embarrassment- this was fun!
Once we had gathered a good amount of information, our team began identifying patterns in our interviewees’ behaviors and habits, including what form of birth control they use, what their goals are, and how they currently track their menstrual cycles. So with just five hours left in the hackathon, we created personas, and began honing in on what out product should actually be. I’ve always believed in using 95% of the time at hand to define the problem, and 5% of the time to define the solution, but as we were at a PROTOhack, and all itching to start prototyping and validating our designs, we got right to work.
We got as far as the name (MOJOJOJO: aka the evil money in PowerPuff Girls). There were just too many things we wanted to do- There has to be a calendar! There has to be more integration! There has to be the right reminders! Obviously it has to be impossibly easy to use.
Thankfully right as we were about to start designing a whole API (more on that some other time) our product mentor, Lindsey Tabas, reminded us that we are making an MVP (minimum viable product), so instead we chose ONE problem, for ONE persona, and ran with it. Thanks to Lindsey we were able to focus our intentions, and get cracking on the actual product.
We decided to focus in on Taylor- our modern lazy girl. Taylor needs to track her period consistently, but always seems to forget, leading her to enter the information retroactively. She’s not looking to have children right now. but is open to the possibility down the line. She needs Mojojojo to provide gentle reminders that run seamlessly in the background of her life, making her menstrual cycle less of a headache.
Fast forward past a few rounds of design studio with my teammates, after which we break off and start prototyping as fast as physically possible. At this point we had less than 2 hours to get our final prototypes made, throw our presentation for the 90 second pitch judges pitch together, and practice, practice, practice.
The top 5 selections from the initial presentations got called up again for a 5 minute Q&A with the judges, and we were thrilled to hear our name announced! Trust me- the competition was steep. We elaborated on the product road map ideas, business goals and other design decisions we made, and then returned to our seats to sweat it out while we waited for the judges’ final decision.
Drum roll please… Mojojojo won first place! ProtoHack was generously enough to provide our team with some awesome prizes, including development services, legal/patent law services, and so much more. We were happy just to participate, and truly over the moon to actually win.
Check out our presentation deck, and be sure to keep your eyes out for future news from Mojojojo!