Head Cap for Blind People
Assignment ID Number AFFGEHU83939HD Type of Document Essay Writing Format APA/MLA/Harvard Academic Level Masters/University References/Sources 4 References
The idea of a smart head cap for blind people came as a result of noticing how blind people struggled to carry out activities that fully sighted people consider to be basic and simple. For instance, walking to a bust stop or navigating paths in a neighborhood was and continues to be a significant challenge to blind people. This problem was the source of the idea behind smart head caps for blind people. The vision of the product is to make life simple and convenient for people suffering from blindness. Production of these caps can make it possible for a lot of blind people that are inconvenienced in daily tasks to accomplish them with a higher degree of convenience which is important in improving their quality of life.
The fact that blind people are deprived of happiness in doing tasks such as navigating through a neighborhood or city implies the amount of inconvenience they go through. This is in addition to the risk of increased vulnerability to crime and other risks such as accidents. The making and distribution of head caps for blind people is therefore meant to ensure that convenience can be restored for them as well as reducing their risk of vulnerability in society. This can be achieved by equipping the caps with Global Positioning System (GPS) scanners which can scan the routes around the blind users and then help them in navigation. In addition, the caps can be able to store data and improve accuracy for routes that are frequently visited and thus enhancing the user experience. This can have the benefit of reducing the time spent in navigation by users as well as protecting them from unnecessary vulnerability.
This product addresses the technology and the wearable technology sector to be specific. This market is attractive considering that it is a nascent industry that is yet to be saturated by many players offering similar products and services to people suffering from blindness. The fact that the navigation problem is a core component of the day to day life of people suffer from blindness means that it makes for a sustainable market. The problem also applies in internal spaces such as buildings where there is a general lack of facilities that can ease navigation for such people. The decreasing costs in wearable technology implies that the prices are affordable to a wide range of the target market and the nature of the problem makes it compelling for the affected people and their friends and family to consider purchasing such products.
Market segmentation is an effective strategy of carrying out market research to create an accurate description for the target market. This can be done using survey questions that can be designed to generate feedback on attitude, demographics, values, and needs in the market. This approach creates primary data and it is relatively cheap as compared to the use of product testing which may require the complete production of product prototypes and thus costlier. There is not much data available with regards to the total category sales for the past three years. However, the wearable technology as a whole had total sales of $375 million in the last three years and it is projected to grow at annual rate of 4% for the next 3 years (Mamtani, 2017; Liu, 2019). This implies a growth in the market size and sales for the smart head caps for blind people.
Customer and Customer Development
Customer development is a framework that uses four steps to ensure that a business has identified a need that is valid among its potential customers and that the product is tested and found to be meeting those needs and it is viable enough to sustain a business. The four steps include; discovering a customer, validating needs, creation of a company, and growing a
company. There was both primary and secondary research done to gather information on what customers need, current solutions for their problem, willingness to pay for the new solution, and how the product can be distributed in the market (Inc., 2014). Primary data was collected by way of interviewing people suffering from blindness while secondary data was gathered through interviews with their friends and family.
Primary Source (People with blindness)
1. Mrs. Joan has lived with blindness for 30 years after developing a medical condition in her late teenage years leading to the loss of sight. She learnt to use a walking stick and sometimes relying on someone she trusts to accompany her. Sometimes she has to rely on friends and family to accompany her especially when visiting new places or she has to navigate through areas that are risky for her safety. She was open to using a cap that could her in navigating routes with more ease. Paying for it was not a concern for her because she knew that the product was going to increase convenience for her as well as safety.
2. Mr. Rogan was involved in a work-related accident where he lost his eyesight. Transitioning to life as a visually impaired individual has not been easy for him. He acknowledged that navigating through routes on his own was difficult and he hated the fact that he had to rely on friends, family and strangers at times to help him. He was willing to pay to have access to a product that can guide him in navigation.
3. Mrs. Ahmed was born blind and she also acknowledged that navigation was still a challenge for her. She was willing to purchase the product and solve her navigation challenges. However, she had concerns on how it could interfere with her Arabic cultural
clothing which she was not willing to change. This was noted as a potential design issue that needed to be modified to accommodate all types of headgear.
4. Susan was a college student who said she was skeptical on the durability of the technology and she said she would try corrective surgery first before deciding to use our product.
5. Suarez was open to the product and its solution to navigation issues. He was open to pre-ordering the product and have it to his benefit at the earliest opportunity.
6. Mr. Li was open to the use of such a product which can increase convenience for him and open more opportunities for him that he had to forego as a result of his condition. He was open to buying the product and subscribing to any updates on the product.
7. Mr. Obi was also open to using the product because he did not have a lot of support in terms of people to help him in navigating whenever he has to go out for different activities.
Secondary sources (Family and friends)
1. Mrs. Karen has a teenage son who is completely blind. She suspected that the high energy nature of her son and lack of convenience in his movement have had a negative influence on his self esteem. She was open to buying the product and helping her son grow more confidence.
2. Kelvin is a friend to Susan who is blind and he said that he is open to buying the product as a gift to his friend. He stated that with ease in navigation they can be able to enjoy their joint activities better.
3. Amina is a daughter to Mrs. Ahmed and she was open to the use of the product as a way of increasing convenience for her mother when navigating on her own.
It was clear from the survey that we carried out that there was a need for the product, it could solve the problem and there were ready paying customers for the product. We noted that there is need for flexibility in the design of the head caps to ensure that it can blend in with cultural or religious headgear. Our conclusion was that the production phase could go ahead and there is need to design an efficient distribution system to reach as many potential customers as possible.
Competition and Positioning
There are products for blind people but they are however specialized for use in sports such as swimming. This implies that current players in that space such as Samsung Electronics Co., Apple Inc., Nike Inc., Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd, Fitbit Inc., and Adidas AG may venture into this category soon. All these companies are successful global companies in the global market. They have significant resources that can be able to scale production and reap economies of scale in a relatively short time. The fact they have existing global distribution systems is a key advantage for them reducing the time between launching and getting the product to markets across the world. In addition, the huge amount of resources available implies that they can be able to invest more in Research and Development and thus come up with better designs in their products.
However, they are likely to have weaknesses in the sense that this product may be an insignificant proportion in their portfolios and they may thus not give products that are meeting market demands. In addition, this weakness can have a negative influence on their ability to keep up with changes among customers. This can be detrimental in building a competitive advantage against a startup like ours. Getting a patent for the uniqueness of our product can help in overcoming competition from the big potential direct competitors. Strategic partnerships can also
build capacity in terms of the technical aspects of making the product as well as setting up efficient distribution systems.
The main source of revenue shall be the sale of the head caps for blind people. The total costs of production and distribution are capped at 60% leaving the business with a margin of 40%. It is expected that there shall be high marketing and distribution costs in the initial phases and the business is therefore expected to break even at Year 2 and be profitable as from that point. The immediate risk that has to be addressed is the market. This is in terms of ensuring that there is an effective marketing strategy that can maximize the potential market of the product. In addition, this can help in prioritizing markets and informing fine details such as pricing and the most effective distribution systems that can be used to reach as many markets as possible at the lowest cost possible without compromising efficiency (Geissdoerfer et al., 2017).
$250,000 is required to set up a mini production facility for the head caps for blind people. These funds are to be raised from angel investors who can not only come in with cash but technical advice as well that is important in setting up the required infrastructure. The advantages of angel investors include; the willingness to take risks and invest in early stage ventures and an expansive network that can supplement the financial help with technical advice and sales networking. However, there are disadvantages of taking capital from angel investors. They include; high rate of returns and loss of control in the running of business.
Year 1 Year 2
Sales 400,000 800,000
Costs 240,500 40,000
costs 220,000 250,000
Total Costs 460,500 290,000
Total Profit (60,500) 410,000
Analysis of Legal Matters
There shall be a patent application made to ensure that the product is protected by intellectual Property laws to prevent any copying from potential competitors. The application shall be made under the utility patent that restricts the copying of the design and functions of the head caps and their GPS route scanning technology. This should result to the issuing of a trade license that can make it possible for this startup to engage in business and outsource production at some point in the future (Zhang & Cueto, 2016).
Learning and Adaptation
It is clear from the analysis above that we are ready to start this business. The cost benefit analysis proves that the startup can be successful in spite of the size of potential competitors such as Samsung, Sony, and Apple. The injection of seed capital is critical to hit the market as projected and raising subsequent rounds of financing can play a significant role in expanding market reach.
Geissdoerfer, M., Savaget, P., & Evans, S. (2017). The Cambridge Business Model Innovation Process. Procedia Manufacturing, 8, 262-269. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.promfg.2017.02.033
Inc. (2014). Steve Blank: The Key to Startup Success? ‘Get Out of the Building’ [Video]. Retrieved 21 May 2020, from https://www.inc.com/steve-blank/key-to-success-getting-out-of-building.html.
Liu, S. (2019). Topic: Smartwatches. www.statista.com. Retrieved 21 May 2020, from https://www.statista.com/topics/4762/smartwatches/#dossierSummary__chapter1.
Mamtani, K. (2017). Wearable Technology Market Size & Share | Industry Analysis. Allied Market Research. Retrieved 21 May 2020, from https://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/wearable-technology-market.
Zhang, S., & Cueto, J. (2016). The Study of Bias in Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship Theory And Practice, 41(3), 4
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