By Jimoh Smith
Nurudeen, a 27 year old young Nigerian developer has had this amazing idea to create an Edutech Application that will transform the education space in Nigeria and Africa.
He worked tirelessly on this great idea with his friends while in the University.
Upon graduation, the idea was to pitch this application to Organizations and Schools that would NEED this solution, so that they can finally get rewarded for all their hard work.
And so they begin the process of pitching to organizations and Schools who they think may need this solution.
It’s been 2 years now and it is getting more and more frustrating.
Most Schools and organizations they have visited so far end up telling them that the idea is a good one “but” …. It always ends up in that three letter word “but”. Does this sound familiar?
Truth is, all too often developers have amazing ideas and they put in all the work but at the point of deploying this “great” solution they realize that most of this stakeholders find it difficult adopting their solution.
All these can be avoided. In this article, we have put together 5 things all developers must do before launching a new edutech solution.
It only makes sense that if Teachers or Administrators are going to be the users of your technology, then they should be amongst the first set of persons that you must consult before finalizing on your application.
There is a need to understand their pain points.
As a developer, when you fail to consult teachers, it would seem as though you were really not interested in education and maybe only interested in the profit you were expecting to make from its success.
Even though your goal is to maximize profit as an entrepreneur, remember that a Solution is only a “solution” when it is solving a problem.
2. Seek Feedback from Students
We all agree that most ideas are borne from a personal struggle and so most developers although do not have a background in teaching have at certain points in their lives as students experienced challenges that led to them embarking on a mission to create solutions for such challenges.
However, there is the need to understand that today’s students face different set of problems and so it would really be out of place if a developer doesn’t interact with these set of users.
You would have find a way to make sure a select group of that population makes use of it in the early face so that you will use their feedback to improve on what you currently have before launching your Edutech application.
3. Most educators are late adopters by nature
Although almost all teachers and administrators always agree that there is a need to integrate technology fully into the educational sector, however, there is always that fear of losing the students to social media and thereby ending up not achieving the actual goal for taking that step.
Administrators especially in Nigeria assume that the kids in their schools would likely end up using their laptops or other devices to do other things instead of doing their assignments.
This makes it difficult for them to quickly adopt most solutions.
Developers will need to keep this in mind when approaching any School or educational organization.
You will have to brainstorm with your team and other stakeholders to discover possible areas where resistance is likely to come out from during your presentation.
4. User experience is the Key
This may sound cliché, however it remains true.
For any young Nigerian developer that is serious about making an impact, your product must be focused on the user experience.
So, for each phase of the design process, care must be taken to design user-focused solutions.
5. Focus on the Value of your Solution
If you get your UX right this should be easy to do.
I advise that before any meeting, always make sure you have researched about the organization.
For any presentation to potential clients, learn to focus on the Value of your product.
Remember how much time you have spent consulting with Teachers, Administrators and Students?
This is the time to paint the picture of how much work has gone into this product.
What are their pain points? How is your edutech application going to help them scale that pain point?
What other value should they be expecting from the product?
In doing this however, make sure not to sell yourself short. As much as you are trying not to focus on price, it will also be good that you know that most clients always have lots of expectations and yet would not be ready to meet those expectations at your terms.
*Disclaimer: The name used is a product of the writer’s imagination. If this resembles any actual person, then it is purely coincidental.