How did you hear about the Startup Weekend?
5 weeks ago, I was chatting with a colleague of mine. He told me about the coming Startup Weekend event in Luxembourg. He was enthusiastic but could not participate. He picked my curiosity. Defining and testing a business model in a weekend? Geee the very same weekend as the one with many friends with whom we « probe » champagne in Reims… Too bad. But the choice was quickly done. I already had a prototype of one idea in hand and wanted to further test the concept. A reality check.
How would you describe the atmosphere at Startup Weekend?
Ever heard about the Reality Distortion Field (RDF)? Steve Jobs was using it a lot to accelerate and magnify the work outcomes of his co-workers. Saturday morning, at 1:09 am, during a break, Diego, Yann, Dominique and a fourth participant were playing kicker. Pretty well. The ball was moving fast, left, right, to the red, to the blue… But no team was scoring during a pretty long time. Because I wanted to leave, I said in a strong manner: « Guys, you don’t score. It’s boring. I want a goal within 5 sec ». Less than 1 sec later, Dominique scored… If you have the right atmosphere, enter the RDF, it works. The entire weekend was filled with such examples. The 70 participants had a very high motivation level, not because of potential gain, but because they were bringing a valuable project to life. Making sense was probably the most efficient fuel we got during the entire weekend.
Could you explain the concept of Bookics?
Imagine. You are in China, you are sick. Since 4 days you have hallucinations, headache and every day your nose is bleeding. Do you feel the pain? You received the addresses of 5 doctors but none could speak English. They don’t understand you. You are lost. My request to app programmers and others is to use 200 drawings expressing the main sickness symptoms to build an application for the iPhone, iPads and other smartphones without words, with only drawings, to help patients and physicians to dialog together when they don’t speak the same language. Do you see the benefits? It will improve the sickness diagnosis and fasten the recovery of the patient.
Have you tested the concept?
We went to a shopping mall and asked around about the app we were planning to develop. A woman told us she would never use it because she never goes to countries where she doesn’t speak the local language. We let her talk most of the time. After few minutes, she admitted that she went once to a remote area, not speaking the local language. She underwent overthere severe medical troubles. No physician could speak english, she was left alone… « It was catastrophic. A disaster ». She waited several days at the hospital, anxiously, prior being repatriated to Luxembourg.
As we disclosed to her the prototype book with all symptoms drawings, she became, within a second, livid and was lost. We had to close the conversation. It seemed that the view of the book revived all pains she had to go through. She concluded: « the book would certainly help many people. But she would not be interested ». Probably because she will never travel anymore to an exotic country… After the interview we felt really bad: we just spoiled her afternoon because of the revival of all these souvenirs. Madam, if you recognize yourself, we do apologize for the pain we revived. This conversation reinforced our value proposition.
How useful was the Startup Weekend?
Participating in the Startup Weekend helped us to build confidence in our project. We got buy in from a diverse and large panel of persons. 2 weeks later, the team continues to work hard to finalize our first minimum viable product, hopefully early Jan. We came to Startup Weekend to see if we had legs. At the end of the weekend, we saw we could stand up. We now learn how to walk, hoping to run very soon, with Bookics, for a better life!
Thank you to the organizers and to all participants. What we have expressed above is probably a feeling which was common to many of us who participated. The energy level was really high. Just looking at the ideas Partymood and Unbookit were developing boosted us to make our case even more stronger. Today we compete against the time and for a higher customer purchase intent.
You can contact us via www.bookics.org if you want to hear more about our app in the near future!