Throughout this spring semester at Grove City College, I have had the opportunity to put PrintIt through the GCC Venture Lab, which is a great way to test the viability of your business. Point being that I came to realize that one of the biggest tests of the viability of PrintIt was whether or not I would have access to a 3D house printer, or if I would be forced to invest in one. Investing in one of the 3D house printers would’ve forced me to raise somewhere around $350,000 and know how to operate and maintain the technology.
On March 10th, I drove up to Minneapolis, pitched to Andrey Rudenko, and successfully partnered with him. My next step was to start designing a demonstration project, but I needed to test the ideas I had for the project first. One of the most effective ways to test the viability of my ideas for PrintIt is with my potential target customers, and pivoting on my ideas based on their feedback. So how to find these customers?
One of the big lifestyle traits of my target customers is minimalism. Minimalism is a lifestyle that allows people to let go of the commercial grasp we have on the clutter of stuff in our lives. There are so many different individuals on YouTube that have dedicated a lot of time to expressing how they live their minimalist lifestyle or any tips they might have about minimalism through their channel.
“If it could be located where I need it to be, absolutely. I’m attracted to the idea of living in a community of like-minded people.” – Amelia Ryczek
Through many different skype video calls, facebook messages, and emails, I was able to get a better feel for how my target customers felt about the ideas I had. Not only did these individuals provide valuable insight into what they thought about the idea, but some of them also offered some of their own advice for how to go about this demonstration project.
“I would love to see houses like that everywhere, not just in their own communities but next to your standard American way-too-big house. This would help spread the message and may encourage others to live smaller. Maybe not in a 3D printed house, but in a house from the 1960s which are a lot smaller than more recently build houses.” – Nina Altenburger
I was even able to have the opportunity to ask the Minimalists what they thought about my idea, which was exciting because of how much influence they have had on the minimalism movement.
Overall, the customer interviews that I have done so far have been very helpful with designing the demonstration project and with designing the brand for PrintIt. Although I still have a lot of work to do with the customer segment of my startup, I have a great start and I feel like I now have a better idea for the direction to take with PrintIt.