Monday, September 2, 2019

A rough hypothesis on ... audio-guided journaling

"When I want to reflect and journal I use ________"

This is a rough breakdown of a product idea that I haven't been able to shake.

What is the core problem? 

  • Self-reflection takes an inordinate amount of energy/effort to do (willing self to sit down and ask hard questions is no small feat)
  • Self-reflection does not come naturally to most people; you are both the subject (asking the reflective question) and the object (answering the reflective question) at once
  • Adherence is hard, as you are only accountable to yourself

What is the product idea?

  • The analogy: "Headspace for journaling and written reflection"
  • A prescribed path and place to aid folks' establish and maintain a reflection/writing practice
    • i.e. X-day long audio courses to help folks journal; examples
      • 7 Day - Daily reflection pack
      • 10 Day - Gratitude journaling
      • 1 off - Stressful day 
  • B2C to start

Who is it solving that problem for? (beachhead segment only)

  • Currently doing written reflection: people already journaling and want additional content or rails to follow
  • Likely to want to: people using headspace/calm/waking up/etc.. and are likely to already have, or want, reflective writing practice

What are they dissatisfied with? (current market alternative)

  • Self-guided reflection
    • either purely mental or based on written prompts
  • No solution
    • not taking the action at all, the activation energy needed is too high

What are the benefits they gain?

  • Easy to start: "paths" reduce the cognitive burden of having to formulate the questions you want to answer 
  • Motivation to continue: keep streak going, exposure to different courses/reflections, feel good helping yourself
  • Habit built: a place to return to, track progress
  • Improved reflection: audio prompting is different experience; sparks more creativity when not having to ask / answer yourself

What are some core risks? 

based on: How to De-Risk a Startup

  • Product/Market Fit Risk: always; not clear there is a market need for this
  • Market risk: not sure this is a giant market (if it exists)
  • Medium term competition risk: this is a easy-to-copy idea (look at all the meditation apps)

Why (not) now?

  • Now
    • People are trained by meditation apps to follow "path" apps like this
    • Self-care, coaching, mental health trends
  • Not now
    • In addition to the risks...
    • This is an app, not a business; too small of opportunity 
    • ...(having a hard time thinking outside of the risks + this is