We were inspired by our local businesses and friends who have currently lost their jobs and are in fear of the unstable economic situation. We thought about how we could redirect the skills of the people who have lost their jobs, to add value to the community, through an online platform (instead of face to face). While thinking about multiple crowdsourcing websites and other companies that use the basic skills of people to generate value for others (such as Uber) we started brainstorming and came up with Wonda.
What it does
Wonda is a free browser plugin that customers download. When they are browsing around for a certain product they can click the plugin and be connected to an expert in that product or brand area. There are parameters that can be toggled to adjust the specific query of the customer and allocate the most knowledgeable assistant. The assistant may inform customers of the product they are looking at specifically, or suggest alternatives from different brands and even on different websites. Once the transaction is put through, the plug in recognises the company brand, the value of the transaction and the sales assistant responsible. With this information, a commission fee is charged as a percentage of the total from the company brand. A fraction of this commission goes to our company (wonda) and the rest to the sales assistant. Regardless of the outcome of the sale, the sale assistant still receives a service fee for their time.
How I built it
In this hackathon we played to our strengths (marketing, design, ideation, and product research). We aimed to develop and flesh out the idea fully and test it out with potential employees and customers. Then showcase our idea as a demo prototype. To develop and flesh out idea: Initially we brainstormed the problem using "pen and paper" and research the pain points of this pandemic with "face-to-face" interviews of our family. We then developed and idea and researched the potential employees and customers using the high tech "call button" on the "iphone" and recorded answers in "notes" also on the iphone. To build a demo prototype: we used "Sketch" and animated it in our video on "Adobe After-Effects".
Challenges I ran into
We knew our strength and weaknesses from the beginning so we know a working prototype was not in the cards for us (this time). However, we did try to research how we would go about it, but we were met with a lot of dead ends and confused looks. It was a waste of time in the initial stages because the learning curve was too steep for use to overcome in 48 hours. Another challenge we found was deciding between a marketplace that has our function (real human assistant), a SaaS where we provide a service to existing stores, with software to have this function integrated in their website easily or lastly our plug-in.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We are very proud that we spoke to the mentors and engaged with the community in all the Zoom meetings and in the Slack channel. I am proud of the overall achievement, that we were able to do market research on the pain points of the pandemic on the community, come up with multiple ideas, go out again to test which of these ideas got the best response, then settle on an idea, figure out the nitty gritty of it and make a video and demo-prototype of how it would work! We worked super well together and we will definitely keep working together on this and other projects in the future.
What I learned
We discovered a lot about plug-in potential (there is a lot). We both improved our skills in our respective programs that we were working in (Maria- Sketch, Charlie- Adobe After-Effects).
But most of all it was really helpful (and inspiring) having all the mentors talk about their journey and what they are each doing in their respective fields. We both feel really lucky to have had such amazing and talented people supervise us and help us on our journey.
What's next for Wonda
We are hoping to get more traction on our launch pages over the next couple of weeks. In that time we hope to find someone to program the plug-in with the features and launch it within our local shops and with the local sales assistants that we know personally who have lost their jobs/ are receiving less shifts. With this we will get an even better understanding of the demand and we can hopefully expand from there.