Evaluate Problem-Solution Fit
Feedback: Concepts, Prototypes, Products.
Find out how close you are to having a solution to an important need, about which older adults (prospective customers) care deeply. And discover whether older adults think your solution is better than competing alternatives.
Iterate faster to problem-solution fit. Save time and money.
It's never too early to get feedback from real potential customers about whether or not your "concept" is something they will want and need. There is nothing worse than spending years of your life, and lots of money, developing something that no one wants. This problem-solution fit service is designed to help innovators avoid that fate.
Get especially thoughtful and relevant feedback from our Longevity Explorer community and the Tech-enhanced Life analyst team — as a result of the thousands of hours we have already spent thinking about the challenges of aging, and potential solutions.
Start with our standard problem-solution fit interaction. If you need more depth we can create a custom engagement, combining some advice from our analyst team and a deeper special purpose interaction with our explorers. When you are ready for a custom, hands-on evaluation or trial, we can design and facilitate that for you too.
Is this service for you?
This service is for anyone who is developing a product or service for older adults.
It is meant to be used as soon as you have a concept you can explain or sketch. But it works equally well when you have a prototype or a finished product.
Ideally you should get meaningful customer interaction feedback like this at each stage of the journey from idea to finished product — so you can tweak the concept as needed in response to inputs from potential customers.
The Services: Evaluate Problem-Solution Fit
A. Standard Problem-Solution Fit Interaction:
The goal of this service is to give cost effective, structured feedback on each of the important aspects of problem-solution fit, as seen by a group of older adults (prospective customers) and the Tech-enhanced Life analyst team.
To take part in this you need to have at least a rough concept for a product or service, and be able to articulate the "Need" (Problem) you are targeting with the product or service.
Often, this feedback identifies some important mismatches between the solution and the problem being attacked. This gives your development team the opportunity to make course corrections if necessary.
It makes sense to test problem-solution fit as early as possible in the development cycle to avoid investing time and effort in working on the wrong thing. Of course, the further along the concept is on the path toward a finished product, the more the feedback can take into account the exact implementation of the concept, and this leads to important additional insights. So it makes sense to get additional customer feedback at intervals as the product or service moves closer to completion.
There are 3 steps in this engagement.
Step 1: Articulate Concept and Need.
We provide a standard template of questions we have developed, that allows you to capture a snapshot of the concept you are working on, the target "Unmet Need" ("Problem"), and the "Competing Alternatives your solution needs to be better than". Often this identifies gaps in your knowledge, and that is OK. Hopefully this is an added side benefit of the process.
We use this template as the basis for our interactions on your behalf with a panel of our Longevity Explorers. If it turns out there are gaps in your understanding of the Need, we may be able to shed additional light on this during the interaction, but that is not the primary goal.
Step 2: Get Feedback from a Group of Older Adult Explorers
We choose a group of our Longevity Explorers who are relevant as a potential customer demographic, and present your concept and the problem you are addressing in a structured, face-to-face, group interaction. We collect feedback on questions like these:
- Is the problem one that you think people care about?
- Does this concept seem like it would solve the problem?
- Would it solve it for you? Or for other people you might know? And which sort of people might like this solution?
- What do you see as potential strengths and weaknesses of this concept?
- Are there other things it might be useful for in your opinion?
Step 3: Share Results and Add Interpretation
We audio record the entire group discussion and you will receive a copy of that, together with a written transcript. In addition, you will get a verbal debriefing from Dr. Caro, who will be the facilitator of the group interaction. You can ask questions about what things might have meant, or how to interpret what was said, or its implications. Dr. Caro will give you his opinion about how good the problem-solution-fit seems, based on the group interaction.
We find it works far better if we present the concept, rather than you presenting the concept — although you provide the content we use to do the presenting. This allows us to frame things in the most effective way to get a good interaction, and avoids the potential for our explorers getting "pitches", which they dislike.
We recommend you do not attend this type of interaction in person as it tends to cramp the discussion, and people are reluctant to say critical things in front of the "inventor / developer".
For the Standard Problem-Solution Fit Interaction, we do not allow company people to attend in person. If you really want to attend in person then that is possible, but we would think of that as a custom concept evaluation (see next section), which we would organize a little differently, and which would likely cost a bit more.
B. Custom Concept or Prototype Evaluations
While we have tried to standardize an interaction above that people can use to get feedback about problem-solution-fit in an economical manner, we recognize that there are many times when you need something that is specially tailored to your circumstances.
Perhaps you need help both evaluating problem-solution-fit, and drilling down into questions like "Who is the potential customer exactly?". Perhaps you want some hands-on testing of a prototype. Or a small study in which people take your product home and use it, and report back in a structured way.
We can help to design these sorts of engagement and manage them, and our Longevity Explorers enjoy taking part.
If you are interested in learning more, use the green button below to start an interaction with us. We will find out more about what you need, and let you know if we can help, and how that would work.
Need Help Exploring Unmet Needs?
We do meet quite a few people who are developing a "solution" but are not able to crisply articulate the "Unmet Need" their product or service is going to solve. Sometimes this is just about clarity of communication. But other times it becomes clear that a bit more learning is needed to fine tune the innovator's insights about what older adults care about.
If this describes your circumstance, you may want to look at our "Explore the Unmet Needs of Older Adults" service. It is designed specifically for people who want to gain additional insights into Important Unmet Needs; and into the profile of the exact demographic that has those needs; and into how people meet those needs today (the existing alternatives one needs to be better than).
Unsure What You Need?
(No charge. No "selling". Just some advice.)
Unique Exploration Community
The members of our Longevity Explorer community have self selected themselves to be interested in new things, intellectually curious, thoughtful, and excited to engage and make a difference. They are a very unique group of individuals.
This community of older adults have spent hundreds of hours over the last two years discussing and brainstorming unmet needs associated with aging, and critiquing various existing products and new product concepts. During that time the members of our five explorer circles have learned how to work effectively together, and we have learned how to effectively manage our group interactions to have useful outputs result. This has been a time consuming learning process, but now we feel confident we can harness our skills to help others.
Tech-enhanced Life and the Longevity Explorers have already built a very deep base of expertise and insight in many areas associated with aging. And we have already explored a number of unmet needs associated with growing older. So, our explorations on your behalf don't have to start from ground zero, but can leverage what we have already learned.
We have learned that the right facilitation is a key ingredient for a group interaction that leads to a successful result. We have the benefit of Dr. Caro's experience as a facilitator of almost a hundred face-to-face explorer circle meetings, as well as his deep experience with the whole product development process. This combination of deep understanding of the challenges of aging; facilitation skills appropriate for a group of older adults; and product development expertise is a rare asset.
Read more about our older adult exploration community in "Longevity Explorers Roll Up their Sleeves": a summary of the first 18 months of our Longevity Explorer initiative.
If you are interested, you can learn about our Business Model here.