Update: Go here for final result: $300 Food Computer - MVP
This is the first of three posts I will be making related to the development of a Personal Food Computer (PFC) Minimum Viable Product (MVP). An MVP as defined by Eric Reis in his book The Lean Startup “That version of the product that enables a full turn of the Build-Measure-Learn loop with a minimum amount of effort and the least amount of development time.”
I think many of us are eager to start building, but it is equally important that we make sure we have ways to measure and learn from our builds. The whole point of these posts is to try to promote discussion and create consensus on requirements & goals as we move forward with the development of an MVP PFC as a community.
If you want to build alongside, help with any part of this project (PLEASE) just let me know what specific area of interest you have. Perhaps you would like to create the lighting sub-assembly, or write the code for the “thermostat” even if you aren’t sure, let me know a bit about what interests you most in OpenAg. If you have additional concerns or think I am missing something, please leave a comment. I am making these posts purely out of the hope that it will unite us behind common goals and requirements. If you are looking for a space where your voice can be heard, or your needs can be met, you are exactly who needs to speak up. I hope my attempt at organising this effort will be well received, this began with conversations in the community and @caleb has expressed his desire for us to develop the MVP.
- Community Goals for PFC
- DIY project that appeals to early adopters who have right skills (makers)
- Interactive educational tool to teach about ecosystems & life science (teachers)
- Research platform to crowdsource experimental plant science research (scientists)
- Grow food based on recipes with automated systems anywhere (farmers)
- Customizable, safe, sustainable food supply independent of climate (foodies)
- Community requirements for MVP
- Collaborative decision-making methods and voting to make sure MVP serves community
- Short cycle time of a few months with defined target user, and recipe use case
- Maintain alignment by sharing as much information as quickly as possible
- Create complete open source documentation in the MVP_PFC wiki (Thank’s, @yusuf.khan.su for starting this, it is appreciated)
Here are my next steps:
Week 1 - Survey’s on the 3 threads based upon outstanding questions and to vote on goals & requirements.
Week 2 - Deliver MVP goals/requirements documentation based on community feedback.
Week 3 - Release alpha version of documentation (Ordering BOM, CAD, Software architecture).
Week 4 - Determine design & assign sub-assembly & software development projects.
Week 5 - Release beta version of documentation (GitHub Repo, CNC, Software Walkthrough).
Week 6 - Document build instructions and share feedback and determine required improvements.
Week 7 - Debug and release final version containing all documentation above and build guide.
Week 8 - Evaluate process to determine validated learning and justify “ROI” of MVP, this feedback begins next cycle.