Greetings! Although it’s been quiet here in the blog, it sure hasn’t been quiet with SkenarioLabs. The development of our service, Skenarios, has taken some big steps ahead through real-life validation projects and I thought I’d write you guys some of the things we’ve learned so far.
After finishing our prototype in last September, our first objective was to get the first feel, how our potential users (shareholders in urban planning & property development/redevelopment) would use our prototype in their projects. We were lucky to acquire very good real-life pilot projects & customers from both domestic public sector and also from notable global clients from private sector.
The projects we started our piloting and validation have varied in locations and characteristics: There have been larger scale development projects where new developments are integrated to old rehabilitated infrastructure as well as new high-standard developments planned to off grid locations. There’s been locations with inclusive open data sets to be utilized to sites without any relevant data on the existing infrastructure. In these projects we’ve worked with very heterogeneous users from tech-savvy to not so tech-savvy architects/experts including urban planners, engineers and property investors.
As we’ve been leanly developing our algorithms and features to handle each project-types and geographies demanding characteristics, we can already see the benefits we’ve learned from these projects service-wise. Beyond this, even with our prototype-demo-version backed up with manual validation, we have been able to demonstrate significant value for our pilot customers/projects in saved money through feasible choices for energy systems and building materials – both for maintained or renovated existing urban structure or for new developments.
To sum it up – our experience up to this point of our way doing lean software development with real-life projects has introduced us at least the four following things:
Revenue. Yeah, the customers are actually paying for value even though the product might not be ready – it’s all in the pricing, and on the other note, you need these pilots for validation anyway.
Feedback is everything. Honestly, although we thought we had a good idea what we are doing and for who, we really didn’t have a clue what we were – and still are – up against. SkenarioLabs heart critical impatient experts doing big projects.
Iteration on algorithms and features. Apart from the previous point, doing a project to a poor “democracy” near the equator with real problems with resources and lack of data is different from doing a project to a site in a big city in Finland with pretty much everything. The key is to be able to crack these both with same methods and accuracy and still make it possible to master these analyses without asking any or as little as possible data from anybody.
Sales. Obviously related to each of the previous points. SkenarioLabs is founded by three engineers and that pretty much sums up our sales force’s potential. Still, learning from the situations we’ve been demoing our evolving service to pilot clients/projects with certain needs, we’re starting to figure out, which features appeal to which customer groups.
(Okay, to be able to demo a property developer results for his optimized project prior he actually introduces the project obviously helps, but that’s Skenarios for you.)
So some few big steps taken, but a loooong way ahead of us. This spring will – in any scenario – be one of the bigger milestones for us so interesting times ahead. Will keep you on the loop as we go.