Day 15 — Shifting to where we can be useful

Kicking off our experiments for Sprint 2

Around early-August, I was desperately searching for ways we could be useful to kids and families in the midst of COVID (as it turns out, a school-based communication app isn’t so useful when school is remote).

So it was time to deliver value in some other way.

That’s when I came across The Good News Network. It was fun, uplifting, and the exact opposite of every other news program.

I soon became fascinated by the idea of doing something similar for kids with type 1 diabetes. Being locked indoors can make any of us lonely, but imagine being a kid diagnosed with a chronic condition and feeling totally isolated. What if we could show that not only were they not alone but that their diagnosis gave them superpowers they never knew they had?

I called it the Invincible Kids Network.

Today we published our 37th video where we share the story of a young adult with type 1 diabetes.

The Invincible Kids Network’s Newest Superhero

I’m proud of each and every video, but this one especially felt good:

  • For one, we interviewed a college student who shares the real challenges of growing up with type 1 diabetes.
  • Two, I didn’t produce it.

A week ago, this was just an idea in a team conversation with my teammate. Elizabeth had made a few simple videos in Quicktime but nothing like this. So after a week of learning the skills needed to produce a video, incorporating design elements, and battling through computer issues, she posted the video to our Instagram.

In the video, you’ll hear the challenges Jake faced growing up with type 1 diabetes, especially in high school. It’s a common theme I’ve heard from many kids, parents, and healthcare providers along the way. And just like the initial spark for the Invincible Kids Network, the potential to help this group of young adults is just too important to ignore.

So this week we shift to testing how we might better support young adults living with type 1 diabetes.

Sprint #2 Experiments

We’re running a dual experiment again this week to evaluate potential paths. Last week we learned young children aren’t necessarily in need of a teaching solution and we did not hear back from our babysitter care platform outreach efforts, so it’s time to shift our focus.

Young Adults Experiment

This week I want to try a different approach for framing the experiment — this time using the problem framework I learned from a book meant for teaching kids (ok, so maybe I’m just a grown up kid).

I also want to test some solutions and get some feedback. I’ve found a quick demo to be invaluable for generating thoughtful discussion, and I’m hoping to early feedback from the young adult crowd.

Problem to Solve:

How might we support young adults with type 1 diabetes as they grow up?

Why:

The teen years generally come with the worst health outcomes — not to mention emotional stress. If we can make a dent in this problem, young adults can grow up happy and healthy and approach life in the real-world with confidence.

How:

Interview 10 young adults (aged 11–24) living with type 1 diabetes this week.

What:

Test out platform with young adults to collect:

  • Feedback
  • Motivations
  • Ideas

Prototypes to test:

  • Intro Video (animated story)
  • 1 Module (app)
  • Goals collection (Typeform)
  • Video Q&A (videoask)

What’s Next?

We’ll be reaching out to family accounts on Instagram to setup 30-minute interviews, just like last week. I found the format works well and is efficient for both sides. Different from last week, we’re hoping to talk to kids so that we can understand their perspective and what they want out of a platform that teaches them skills and confidence (or something else that matters more to them, we’ll just have to see!).

Tomorrow I’ll be building out some prototypes we can test with this audience.

Until tomorrow.

Startup founder surviving in his parent’s basement.