Hybrid Sled is a Co-Venturing between a Norwegian husky tour company and MERPHI. The project included concept design, CAD modeling, engineering, user study, and MVP testing. The story started in the decent warm summer of 2020. During that time, an entrepreneur from Norway reached out and shared the story of his challenges at that time. Although we had a nice decent summer in Nordics, the huskies were suffering from heat while training.
Husky is made for cold climates and needs constant training. However, the husky owners have to keep them training even during summer. But the sleds and gears are not made for summer. Moreover, the sled tour industry has been underdeveloped for many years and digitalization has not reached there yet. In fact, a digital solution can help huskies live longer by assisting them to carry less load. Besides, the current sleds are neither safe for the passengers nor the Huskies.
We performed a set of activities to do in order to bring the concept into reality. First, It started with need analysis, competitor analysis, and trend analysis. As a result, the designers had an overview of the users’ needs and market situation. Secondly, We created a concept to test with different stakeholders. Lastly, we made a platform to examine the concept and validate it with the users to see if there is a real need for it in the market.
After 8 month of design and analysis, we decided to pause the project due to the lack of market readiness. However, the need is still there. Later, we identified some other usages for the designed platform for rescue missions. The key takeaway of this project, was the agile approach of MVP testing. In fact, we lowered down the risk of innovation by testing the market acceptance, before we invest in R&D and production. This method is a cheap and reliable method to save the time and money and overcoming the uncertainty.
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