List ten non-obvious assumptions about your target customers (or organizations) that you need to validate.
1. We need to validate how mushrooms are perceived in their society. Gross? Luxury? Medicinal?
2. The common way to prepare mushrooms. Dried? Cook? Raw?
3. When mushrooms are eaten? Special occasions? When someone is sick?
4. Do their children eat mushrooms? Common for children to hate mushrooms
5. What kind of mushroom do they eat when available? Would they only trust that one?
6. Do they have easy access cold storage areas?
7. Would they eat in in portions as a main dish?
8. Would people rather become entrepreneurs or work for a main mushroom production system?
9. What are people’s current knowledge of mushrooms and mushroom production systems?
10. If both their normal wild mushrooms and the other mushrooms are available which would they choose?
List ten hypotheses about your project that you need to test during fieldwork.
1. Is Sierra Leonne too hot for mushroom production?
2. Can we keep things clean enough for no contamination?
3. Are the materials we’re using available in Sierra Leonne?
4. Would the available replacements be sufficient?
5. Would we need to make another DIY pressure cooker?
6. Could they keep a culture going or would they need to keep getting more plugs?
7. If we find we can cut out some pasteurization steps here would it still be possible over there?
8. Would we need isopropyl alcohol to make up for their dirty water in simple cleaning steps?
9. Is it too expensive to make the right growing conditions in Sierra Leonne?
10. Will the blocks be successful enough to do 2nd rounds of grow runs?
What do you think you bring to your team? How has your perception of your own strengths and weaknesses changed over the course of the class? Please be specific.
I bring past experience of growing up on a mushroom farm to the team. The weakness there is we have access to lots of advanced machinery and resources to refine the mushroom growing process and I cannot translate that process I’m familiar with to these “primitive” methods we have to use. I know many solutions to our problems but the solutions are not feasible with what we are trying to do. That past experience has also blinded me to other options.