The Value Plan: Live Case Study #1 - Metabirds

Metabirds Week 1: Exploring Core Values

Hello, everyone!

We are 3 MBA students of Doshisha Business School and are excited to start our very first live case study for the Value Plan! Our aim is to keep publishing weekly updates, including a summary of how much we have discovered and accomplished, including possible challenges or inspiring observations, solely based on the “Value Plan” framework.

During the next two months we will be working on “Metabirds”. This is a Japanese company based in Kyoto that focuses on developing ultra-trendy chatbots for people and businesses. Through the “Botbird” application  [available on iOS and Android] users have already created around 80K functioning bots, leading to the fact that the company owns a growing database of chatbot logs and reply definitions!

Our task is to help the owner of the company, Nayoushi Shimaya, in setting a clear vision on where to head next, using the “Value Plan” framework.


Step 1: It all starts with core values

Referring back to the previous post in this blog – we can see how core values are vital in identifying what the company stands for, and what the business should be remembered for.

To answer these questions, that, we believe, are vital in order to build a successful marketing strategy, we have analyzed the global and Japanese chatbot industries. Additionally, we also had the chance to ask Shimaya-san some questions. Next week, we will have a more thorough interview with him; therefore, our current analysis is mostly based on our own findings and some brainstormed conclusions that will be further refined.

What is Shimaya-san truly passionate about?

 

It was fascinating to learn what the owner is truly passionate about: connecting people’s hearts. Especially, those people who have hard times being fully accepted by society, such as people isolated in hospitals or those that are also referred to as “hikikomori”- a unique phenomenon for Japan. He believes that through “Metabirds” he offers people an opportunity to create their alter-ego (hard not to make references to the “Avatar” movie :)), where they can freely express themselves and help them to overcome the challenges of the social life.

Keeping this in mind, we started to brainstorm possible core values that resonate with Shimaya-san’s vision:

brainstorming in action…

As you can see our initial list included all the possible ideas related to the problem that  he is trying to solve. After our brainstorming session, we came up with 4 core values that only will be finalized after the approval of Shimaya-san.

Acceptance and Understanding

Being accepted in your own skin and embracing life in all its forms.

“Metabirds” is a platform where people can create unique bot-companions that have individual characteristics or features suitable for specific users. These bots won’t judge or have any biased opinion towards specific people – they will be a reflection of their own creators. “Metabirds” is a place that allows people to be accepted and understood in their own skin.

This can also be expanded into the B2B segment. Allowing businesses creating their own bots will enhance the experience of customer support.  Each bot will individually assist customers in the best possible manner without any delays or human errors. Customers would have a feeling of being thoroughly accepted and understood by the company.

Freedom to express

Encouraging people to express themselves on how they really feel and want to say

“Metabirds” is the universe where users should not be afraid to express themselves. This is especially important since we are in Japan, the country with half a million population of “hikikomori”. “Metabirds” might act as a bridge between the wild world and those people that, for different reasons, are not accepted by society.

 Togetherness

Seamless connection between people’s hearts through technology

 We believe that technology offered by “Metabirds” can aid in connecting people. This directly speaks to  Shimaya-san’s ultimate mission: to connect people’s hearts.

 Identity preservation

Preserving and personalizing individual’s identity through technology

 When we create a chatbot we are putting ourselves into the character (preserving ourselves). In a way we make ourselves immortal, as our digital form will be a reflection of us.

Once again the core values we have identified above will only be finalized after getting the approval of Shimaya-san. We tried to closely connect them with his passion–: helping isolated people and connecting people’s hearts.


Step 2: Define the whys!

Moving forward towards the second step of the workbook brings us to defining the problem that “Metabirds” is facing at the moment. The team generated several “why cases”, each of which tries to solve a different problem from different perspectives.

Option 1:

This might be one of the potential problems that “Metabirds” is facing, however, at this point, we are not willing to make any conclusions.

Option 2:

This is true. Every day, billions of people are engaged with messaging apps and this number is growing. Around 77% of content shared on mobile phones is done through messaging apps . This creates a great opportunity for businesses to build their own chatbots, directly assisting customers with specific services. And this, indeed, creates an opportunity for “Metabirds” to offer services in the B2B segment!

Option 3:

This might be another problem that “Metabirds” will have to focus on tackling, and it does directly speak to core values 1, 2 and 3.

Option 4 (Extra):

 

 This extra or how we called it – «Deep» analysis of why people need chatbots, directly speaks to core value 4.

 As we have mentioned several times already this analysis is something that is yet to be refined and finalized, but at least you can see our thoughts in action. Next week we plan to finalize these two steps and move further to identifying possible LRTC candidates and the PWS!

 

 

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