Day 71 — Kicking off a Design Sprint (starting @ the end)

Day 1 of a 5-day Design Sprint

Bob Weishar
7 min readFeb 9, 2021

Today I started the Google Ventures Design Sprint. My goal is this:

If you’re unfamiliar with this process, it’s a way to short-circuit learning by building an idea and getting in front of users. I’ve worked through this process with teams in the past and I love the time-boxed nature of building and getting in front of customers.

So that’s just what I’ll do: by Friday I’ll have build a testable prototype and get feedback from 5 different users.

Resources for Today

  • Google Ventures Library for today’s content outline
  • Notebook / sticky notes
  • for mapping out flows and digital sticky notes
  • for a timer


Before diving into the sprint, first I created individual JIRA cards for this week’s work. I find that I’m infinitely more productive when I have a record of what I’m working on, I start the day with a plan, and I finish the day by crossing off completed activities.

This Week’s Activities


Set a long-term goal. Get optimistic. Ask: Why are we doing this project? Where do we want to be in six months, a year, or even five years from now? Write the long-term goal on a whiteboard. (Read more on page 55 in Sprint.)

Invincible’s Long Term Goal

In 2 years, Invincible has 10,000 paying Daily Active Users.

  • Note: I initially set the 2 year goal as: “In 2 years, Invincible will support 10,000 kids with chronic health issues in building the skills and the confidence to live happy lives.” However, after watching this video I think the goal wasn’t concrete enough. If we’re able to get this many active users, it probably means 1) we have a good product 2) we’ve developed partnerships with healthcare providers and 3) we’re making enough money to sustain operations and continue iterating.

List sprint questions. Get pessimistic. Ask: How could we fail? Turn these fears into questions you could answer this week. List them on a whiteboard. (p. 57)

Part 1 — Fear Statements

  • We’re unable to reach our target audience.
  • We fail to build an engaging app experience for teens.
  • We run out of money.
  • Our content sucks.
  • We don’t build a great team.
  • Healthcare providers don’t support us.
  • We fail to build the right partnerships.
  • I get burnt out.
  • Child chronic health illness is cured.

Part 2 — Fear Statements Reframed as Questions

How might we…

  • reach our target audience?
  • build an engaging app experience for teens?
  • generate positive cash flow?
  • develop great content?
  • build a great team?
  • get support from healthcare providers?
  • build the right partnerships?
  • avoid burnout?
  • cure child chronic health illnesses (this would be awesome)


Make a map. List customers and key players on the left. Draw the ending, with your completed goal, on the right. Finally, make a flowchart in between showing how customers interact with your product. Keep it simple: five to fifteen steps. (p. 65)

  • In laying out the map, I chose 3 key stakeholders: adolescents, parents, and providers. Each of these plays a critical role in getting to our goal: adolescents are users of the product, parents are the key decision makers and support for adolescents, and doctors recommend the appropriate treatment, provide hands-on care, and course-correct as needed.
  • For the map itself, I first reviewed this helpful how-to-video. It turns out I’ve generally been doing these maps wrong: rather than focusing on current-state of things, the map is intended to get us to our goal and reflect Invincible’s end state flow.
  • As a result, I ended up breaking the flow into 4 steps: discover, learn, use, and goal. Here’s the result:
The Map. Helpful how-to-video for creating the map.

1 p.m.

Lunch break. Eat together if you can (it’s fun). Remind your team to choose a light lunch to maintain energy in the afternoon. There are snacks if you get hungry later.

  • Leftover Super Bowl Chili.

1:30 p.m.

  • Leftover Post-Super Bowl Chili Nap

SKIPPED — Did research last week but still need to find experts

Ask the Experts. Interview experts on your sprint team and guests from the outside. Aim for fifteen to thirty minutes each. Ask about the vision, customer research, how things work, and previous efforts. Pretend you’re a reporter. Update long-term goal, questions, and map as you go. (p. 71)

Explain How Might We notes. Distribute whiteboard markers and sticky notes. Reframe problems as opportunities. Start with the letters “HMW” on the top left corner. Write one idea per sticky note. Make a stack as you go. (p. 73)


Organize How Might We notes. Stick all the How Might We notes onto a wall in any order. Move similar ideas next to one another. Label themes as they emerge. Don’t perfect it. Stop after about ten minutes. (p. 79)

Map after adding HMW stick notes

DISCOVER: How might we…

  • …build partnerships with doctors?
  • …build trust with families?
  • …make Invincible cool? 🟠

USE-> Screening: How might we…

  • …make it fun to complete mental health screeners?
  • …better detect mental health disorders in adolescents? 🟠 🟠
  • …make mental health screening part of standard care?
  • …balance privacy and support from parents? 🟠
  • …communicate screening results to providers? 🟠

USE-> Complete Activities: How might we…

  • …develop fun, best-practice cognitive behavioral health activities? 🟠 🟠
  • …personalize activities to adolescents?
  • …involve families in the development of care plans? 🟠
  • …connect prescribed care plans to content?
  • …communicate screening results to providers? 🟠

USE-> Track Progress: How might we…

  • …demonstrate progress toward the user’s goal? 🟠 🟠
  • …track what matters?
  • …get families involved in care? 🟠
  • …keep providers in the loop and involved in course corrections? 🟠

Vote on How Might We notes. Each person has two votes, can vote on his or her own notes, or even the same note twice. Move winners onto your map. (p. 80)

  • I added a 🟠 to the list above for items that I wanted to vote on (ok, so I didn’t exactly follow the 2-vote rule…). Each of these things I thought would be interesting to explore.


Pick a target. Circle your most important customer and one target moment on the map. The team can weigh in, but the Decider makes the call. (p. 87)

  • Most Important Customer: Adolescents
  • Target Moment: Complete Care Activities

This decision was pretty easy. While I think the discover, screening, and tracking progress steps have merit, I don’t think that’s our riskiest assumption nor where we can differentiate ourselves. My hope with selecting completing care activities is that we can add a unique spin to mental health exercises that nobody is doing — designing them with best practices in mind while making them fun and engaging to complete.

The Sprint Venture Guide has the day stopping here, but I continue to find recruitment to be the most challenging piece, so I wanted to end the day with getting some people to test the prototype with at the end of the week.


Create a Recruiting Screener

Figure out who I‘m looking for

  • Started here and here to learn what I’m doing and used this tool (with this as a reference).
  • I debated between whether we should have people with a diagnosed mental health disorder or not. It’s a really sensitive subject and I think it will be really difficult to recruit for, so for this week’s test I’m keeping it focused on adolescents with chronic health issues and making it optional they have a diagnosed mental health condition.
  • Here’s the result:
Inclusion Criteria
Exclusion Criteria


❏ Walk the dog.


Recruit 6 Adolescent & Young Adult Testers


  • Source 1: Previous Invincible Kids Network Participants
  • Source 2: IG Community Outreach
  • Source 3: Friends of Friends

What I sent:

Hey, [x] —I’m reaching out hoping to get your feedback on a prototype I’m working on around mental health. My hope is to help deliver engaging content that helps adolescents and young adults work through mental health challenges.

Any chance you have some time Friday to share your opinions?

What’s Next?



Bob Weishar

Founder at Invincible, passionate about building healthcare products that inspire.