Jonas in Lissabon – Teil 3

Seit drei Monaten ist Jonas nun bei beta-i in Lissabon. Was er im Dezember alles erlebt, gelernt und erfahren hat, teilt er uns mit.


New month, new challenges.

It’s the beginning of January already and last month has been, both, insightful and exhausting. In the last month‘s report I announced that I switched my undertaking due to my newfound passion for social impact, the project’s possibility to affect many other lives positively and, well, the fact that my old project won’t provide the opportunity to sustain myself long-term. In this piece I want to explain more about the challenges that I faced when tackling the new idea and what I did to overcome them.

The first and biggest problem was to define the exact problem I am tackling. While this sounds easy, it is actually a really hard thing to do. It is also a really important one because the scope of the problem defines all the steps after. Luckily the EYE program allows me to tap into the mentoring from beta-i, which helped and pushed me to go deep and figure this out. I did that by assessing my assumptions and backing them up with secondary research, mostly articles and studies on the topic. During this process the problem statement changed a few times, which is normal when you find out new information.

The next challenge was to define the hypothesis about the problem. More concretely the customer jobs, customer pains and customer gains associated with the problem. You might imagine: there are a lot, but that is normal when you tackle a new idea. The more you accept the fact that you really know nothing about the problem and that you will have to validate everything with customer feedback, the more probable will be the success of your undertaking. The result from this step was then to put hypothesis into questions and build an interview guide. Since I had never done this before, the mentorship from beta-I once again proved once again invaluable.

Since these hypothesis are only my ideas, the next step then was to “get out of the building” and talk to possible clients. This brings me to the next challenge: how to find interview partners? Luckily, I already had that in mind when talking with people on networking events and I started building a list with possible interview partners. Then scheduling the interviews was easy. The next challenge was to not talk about the problem and simply ask questions related to it. To be honest, this was really hard for me because I am excited to share my idea and to help people. But in the end this proved to be very important because this way interviewees are less biased and their answers are therefore more valuable.

In the end it worked out very well. The answers I got will now help me to structure the problem better. Moreover, I was already able to help some interviewees with pointing them to existing resources that have the possibility to help them with anxiety and finding more meaning in their lives. This felt amazing!

Other things that were going on this month where two social impact related events that I co-organized with makesense.
The first was a panel talk about social impact that happened at beta-i and proved to be a huge success. The second one was a social impact networking event at Casa Do Impacto that attracted many different players from the industry such as different social impact enterprises and citizens that want to get involved with the social impact industry.

2020 just started but I already feel like it will be great. This year I aim to push my project to find product-market fit, to keep advocating for the social impact industry and help other ethical entrepreneurs to overcome obstacles.