Our blogs below demonstrate our growth and progress as a company from each of our perspectives.
Blog 1: Team Dynamics
Yash M - CEO
Team interactions are going well so far. We are working together to learn and perfect our science as well as our business understanding of our product. I would characterize our team as creative and focused. Our team is hardworking and puts in lots of effort. We interact well and discuss what we have learned and possible next steps that would benefit us as a company.
A good idea of what to do as well as productive interaction skills makes a good leader. We all work as equals on the team, but with leadership skills. We do have productive interactions and get work done well, while working together. So, a company can be a true team of equals without having one person in charge. I, as CEO, am in charge of the company, but we decide on critical things together and everyone will have a say and their input will be valued.
We have not had any conflicts yet, but I believe that the most effective strategy for keeping everyone on task is to maintain discipline by immediately stopping a conversation when go off topic. So far, everyone has made good progress to help the company.
Our team is focused and so we are operating well. We all do have different personalities, but we work together to make progress. It is critical that friendship is fostered in a team so that we can all trust each other to do important tasks. We all feel responsible to help our team move forward, and so we all stay true to our jobs
Lindsey L - Science
My team is doing very well, we’re not really high of energy, and hyper, but we’re not really boring, and low energy. The team is interesting, and funny, but serious at the right times. A good leader is respected by who they are leading, is encouraging, can give constructive criticism without putting them down, or excluding them. On our team, we are equal, and we do not want one person to be better, or more special than the others.
Conflicts have been managed well overall, we usually look at the pros and cons of the problem, and decide on a compromise that everyone is okay with or agrees with it.However, there have been few conflicts along the way to building our app. The most effective strategy for staying on track is when one person realizes that we are off task, and tells us to get back to work.
We can work more effectively, but when we need to get things done, we’re on task, and we finish the task. On our team, everyone’s personalities balance each other out, so that one person does not have too much power. For smaller tasks we usually split things up, so we get it done quickly. However, when there is something big to accomplish we have more than one person work on it to make it better.
During normal work times we all like to take breaks and goof around for a little, but usually within minutes we get back to work. I think we are getting a decent amount of work done, but for the next few weeks I would like to make more progress on our justinmind, a prototyping software.
Gavin W - App development
Our group is quite interactive, and contains really high energy. We all enjoy having fun and play around, unfortunately sometimes we do get carried away and go off topic. With our high energy, we all become motivated to work together and try to make a working prototype. We enjoy having fun, but also working hard to together. Adjectives I would use to describe our team is funny, but hard-working.
The characteristics of a good leader is someone who knows how to interact and work with others. Someone who have patience, and knows that arguments will not solve problems. Someone who also understands everything about the project and the process. Our team is a company where there is true team of equals, because we all work equally here and we do not want to have one be more special than the other because that person is the leader. So we believe that we don’t need a CEO, and we decided on cases together instead of individually. We each agree on what part every person in the group is in charge to do.
We usually don’t have too big of a conflicts, however if we do, we either vote on it, or just talk things out. We aren’t working as effectively as possible, because we like to joke around, instead of seriously working the whole class period. We all like to have fun while we work, because doing the same thing after a while does get boring, and it becomes a work that we must do. By having fun and joking around every once in awhile helps relieve some stress that someone might have.
The fact that we all like to joke and have fun makes a strong relationship when we work. And that results in less arguments and conflicts, that means that more work can be done and agreed on. If everyone on the team becomes competitive, it causes stress for everyone to be the best, which does affect how someone works. Currently, good amount of work done
Nevin T - Business
The interactions between my team are fairly stable, so far. My team is probably in the middle of a high energy group and a low energy group. We aren’t over enthusiastic and bursting with energy, but we have the right amount of both motivation and dedication to get the job done. We haven’t been involved in any major conflicts, which is a major difference from my team last year. All of the members of my team are friendly to each other, as we carry out activities in a diplomatic, calm way. To sum it up, I would personally describe my team as hardworking, calm, and stable. A good leader in a team is someone who has a strong command of a team, but also doesn’t get too controlling or bossy. In my team, we have established clear leadership among us, as we all agree to do an equal portion of work. In a company, it is necessary for there to be an aura of leadership, which helps keep the workers on task. Yes, a company can have a team of four equals, but a little bit of leadership(which doesn’t necessarily only have to come from one person) definitely helps push the team further. So far, there actually haven’t been any major conflicts in my team. Sometimes, we do get into minor arguments about how the product should work, or what our future plans are, but we usually work those minor issues out by trying to find a common ground and/or compromising. Occasionally, we can go off topic, but we try to get back on track in a matter of minutes. The personalities of my team is important to help keeping the company functional. Too much of a certain personality can lead to a struggle for power, which is bad(and thankfully has not happened yet). It is better to foster respect and friendship rather than competitiveness, because the whole point of a team is to work with each other to help reach a common goal. Having competition with a team can only turn pit people who should be working together against each other instead. My team is operating fairly smoothly right now, and everyone is friendly to the other team members. To make more progress, I would really like my team to start really focusing on improving our product, and start accomplishing more tasks within a week.
Blog 2: Literature Review
Yash M - CEO
We need to research the science concepts behind our product early on because it helps us understand the possibilities and the limitations of our product. It saves time, effort, and money invested into an idea which is not possible. Also, if we know something is possible, we would focus on that and aim for the best. Research changed our project because now we can try to do what we know is definitely possible and try to achieve it.We may or may not create a working prototype, but for just as a displaying prototype, we are using Justinmind, an app simulating software. Justinmind enables us to pretend that our app gathers data and shows it. We want to create a working prototype by hiring a software in the future.Time is our biggest issue, as we are all quite busy so there isn’t enough time to meet up and work together than what we do in class. We do take some time out dedicated to improving our product as much as we can.Our Minimal Viable Product is finalized based on our 59 interviews conducted. We may hire a software engineer to bring our idea to life.
Lindsey L - Science
Researching science early on is essential to the project. By researching early we discovered many ways to show a map, and how a GPS works. We looked at the many ways of showing a map, and decided using the offline GPS was best. Sometimes if we started before we researched we would find flaws about the method, and we would have to delete all of our hard work.
I am somewhat confident that our prototype will work, our justinmind is looking good and some of our team numbers know how to code using java, and other coding software. Our prototype is working well, and is easy to use, is user friendly, and looks nice. Our science is well researched, and we understand it.
The largest problems to create a working prototype is the actual programming part, and how we are going to get the money. Even though some of our team members know coding, we might have to hire a software engineer to help us create the app. Another problem is time, on the weekends we often struggle to find time together to meet up and discuss problems.However we have to be flexible with our schedules, and together, find a time we could meet up, and develop our app.
Our next steps are to have our justinmind prototype finalized so we can make a tutorial video, finish our website, so it looks nice, and is easy to use, and we also need to decide who to partner with for our GPS. We also need to continue conducting interviews, so we know exactly what our customers want.
Gavin W - App development
I believe it is important to research the science concepts early on is that you understand what you need to do and you can plan things out early. If you start researching afterwards, you might have discovered that what you have done is useless based on information you discovered. And then you are forced to erase all of your work that you have done. Therefore, it is much better to research before because then you have an understanding of what needs to be accomplished
I feel somewhat confident about our prototype and our group. We are all working efficiently, and we have gotten much work done. We have made a successful Justinmind that has been progressing well, the science and the research has also be studied. We each all of have our own jobs or parts that we accomplish to make a working prototype.
One issue that we face is time, sometimes we can’t find a good time to work together during the weekends, and for interviews, it is very difficult to work together during the weekend. All of us usually have classes, meetings, and tournaments that our parents don’t want us to skip. We also have times when some of us can go, but now all of us and that stresses all of us out, everyone is trying to make their schedule more flexible, but it is very difficult during some times
Our next steps are to develop our Justinmind and Website, and apply all science into our designs and the MVP. We also want to continue finding more information about what customers want and the features they really want, and then we incorporate it into our app. We also want to solve some of the customer problems when using the app, for instance, the biggest one being“ what will happen if they forget to press Start.”
Nevin T - Business
It is important to research the science concepts behind our project because our product enters a unique new field that hasn’t been explored as much as some other fields. In order to provide a tracker that completely does not rely on wifi or the internet, our research and science is very important to move our project forward. Our research did change a little bit, because at the beginning of the year, we just generally researched about how to implement a non internet tracker, but as we moved forward, we started looking more into different competitors and specific apps that may help our product(accelerometer, timer, etc.). Since a real app requires coding, we are just focusing on our Justinmind app, and are fairly confident that we will finish that. If there is time later on, our group may explore the possibility of actually designing the app. As of now, we have all the basic elements of the app sketched out, so all we have to do is add more pages to the Justinmind app that help display all our features. Because we are an app, cost was never an issue. However, time is kind of an issue because we really want our Justinmind to look like a real app that would track all your data. Right now, our biggest focus is perfecting our Justinmind, and figuring out the business/science of our product. Our next steps as a group is to finish the Justinmind, and create a video that will inform the users/judges on how our product works for users. I would also like to talk to an expert to get advice about the science of our product.