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Inteligencia Creativa & Kiva by dreamer LuisMa

It’s 6:30 am. I open my eyes and, like every morning, the first thing I see through the windows is a skyscraper that reminds me where I am. I’m feeling sleepy and with a smile on my face. It’s time to wake up. Another day in paradise!!

A fast shower to be in time at the hall of the hotel with all the other Dreamers, otherwise I’ll have to pay 1$ as the Sura Team has threatened us with his secret “experiment”!!

Once at the office and with a coffee in our hands we start with the daily activities. Today, Philippe from Inteligencia Creativa is going to kick of the prototyping phase! The first thing that he wants us to make sure we know crystal clear is that we have to ask the user and make sure that “we are building the right “it”, before we build it right”!!

He also teaches us the difference between the  pretotype vs prototype or how the first is used to learn and the second one to check. With a pretotype (before a prototype) we can validate our first hypothesis with a very initial design. For example, Palm made a first version with wood to ask people and check if the dimensions were the correct ones.!
Finaly he shows us what he describes as the checklist when prototyping, and asks us to identify this in our projects:

NEEDS: Who is the client? What need does this covers? How much do they need it?!
APPROACH: How can we make it happen? How do I solve the problem?!
BENEFITS: What is our value? Are there negative effects?!
COMPETITORS: Who else has tried to solve it? Which are the boundaries?!

After answering these questions you will have a good approach to your prototype and will be defined enough to take next steps.
To finish this first session about the phase of prototyping he remembers us that the proposal needs to be synthesized into a clear and concise message.!
After Philippe it’s Montse’s turns. She is going to talk about the Proof of Concept when validating an idea. For that purpose you have to:
· Validate your prototype, using it and letting other people use it.
· Improve it with the feedback received.
· Learn and start again.

and you will have to follow some steps. These are:

STEP1: Test demo!
Test Cases: What to prototype? How to prototype? !
Test Plan: Prepare a 3-5 minutes demo to show at your final presentation, visualise it and control timing.
To test your demo you should follow these simple steps: prepare your test scenario, test data/ materials, test it, control timing and review the results.
STEP2: “Mamma mía” effect!
For sure you will find some troubles that you thought would never happen and this will turn into a stressful situation, that is what she calls the “Mamma mía!” effect. She has some recommendations to be successful: first, when the test FAILS you have to ask yourself and find out what has gone wrong, why has it happened that way and, after applying that learning, try again. Again and again!

 

Once you have a good demo you will get a “WOW!” effect and will be able to continue to the next level, where you will have to ask yourself again what has gone well, why it was  successful and get ready to take it further!!


Kiva

After a quick lunch we go to Kiva, only a few blocks away from our offices.
Kiva was founded 10 years ago by Jessica and Matt, a software engineer and philosopher during a trip to Uganda. Kiva’s mission is to connect people through lending, to alleviate poverty.

Once at Kiva, Jacob Schulz welcomes us. He is VP of people at the company. “Half of the world’s population lives on less than 3$ a day” he says. A big difference between first and third world is about the lack of access to opportunity,  at Kiva they entrepreneurs in developing countries with people all over the world who lend them money to be able to go forward with their projects.   Out of hope, equality and dignity, Kiva connects people through  crowd-founded loans.

“how do you know the people are going to pay back the money?” a Dreamer asked.
He tells us that it is controlled through partners (micro-finance institutions, NGOs, …) that are doing due-dilligence and managing re-payments. Besides, money is flowing towards risk instead of towards return, because people tend to lend to crisis areas like Afghanistan. It is an interesting phenomenon since money is normally flowing in the opposite direction. Kiva lenders are risk friendly. “And the money continues to have impact as most lenders re-invest the money!” he concludes.

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Social networks makes it very easy to refer people to Kiva. Just share your activity on Facebook and invite people to join the community. Besides, they have “lending teams”: you can join a team and the teams compete among each other (Christian lenders vs atheist lenders for example). It’s entirely up to the community how they want to manage themselves. As a matter of fact, there are even groups of women lending to men wearing no shirts!

They have found that the best way to advertise themselves is through the word of mouth.
Jacob also told us about an new project they are working on:  Kiva Zip, a way to make loans to startups. In Kiva’s model they work through partners, at Kiva Zip the money goes straight to the borrower  with the help of a trustee. “I know this borrower and I stick my reputation to his borrower”. It’s still an experiment and they are testing  it in US and Kenia but is a very interesting initiative!

After the visit we come back to the Imagine Office at Folsom Street to keep working, there is a lot of prototyping work to do and there is no time to lose. After the work we will have our ‘reward’ and will go have dinner. It’s a good way to recharge batteries before going to bed and getting ready for another day in paradise.

 

Dreamer LuisMa

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