E245 autonomow.wk2

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  • Great course, enjoying the work that the teams are doing and how quickly they're learning about perspective markets.
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  • Firstly, this is my first exposure to some of the CustDev method and it's very cool. Thanks for posting this.

    I was reviewing the Total Market slide and thought... what about China, one of the world's fastest growing markets. There are 600 golf courses in China; however, most of those are 'illegal'. http://www.slate.com/id/2246914/

    Then of course I thought about India. Obviously the roughly 30 golf courses aren't a watershed for the business but the amount of small farm agriculture could be huge for this business.

    Lastly -- I know a lot of Americans who own multi-acre properties who have to do a lot of mowing. In fact, my father in-law just spent over $12,000 on a tractor. He'll use it for many things including mowing.

    If there was a way to 'miniaturize' the tech and cost I could see Home Depot selling 'snap on' systems OR better yet a complete Autonomous Mower for 'the Jone's' backyard.
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E245 autonomow.wk2

  1. Autonomous Large-Scale Mowing and Agricultural Weeding GPS Laser Intelligence
  2. Autonomous Mowing and Weeding Systems <ul><li>Value Proposition: Reduce Operating Costs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce labor (75%: one person deploys four mowers) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase asset utilization (24 hr operation) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improve performance (precise/repeatable paths, cutting) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recoup costs within 1 year </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Total Market: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mowing – (e.g., golf courses, fields, parks, highways) - $470 M / year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Weeding – (e.g., organic farms, fruit and vegetable maintenance) - $500M / year </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Technologies: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can be used on existing mowers/farm equipment or built into new units </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>GPS and laser-based guidance (costs are now economically feasible) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leverage technology developed at Stanford, Trimble, and UC Davis </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Key Barriers to Address: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Union perception, liability, entrenched customer base, psychology of autonomous vehicles </li></ul></ul>
  3. Three key assumptions 1. The technology is ready (or close), robust and reliable 2. The cost of the system is significantly less than the cost of labor being replaced (i.e., ROI within 6-12 months). 3. There are no legal constraints regarding autonomous mowers
  4. WEEK 2 DELIVERABLES IN REMAINING SLIDES
  5. Business Model – Hypotheses & Tests (1) Reduce Operating Cost Through: - Labor reduction - Better utilization of assets - Improved performance (less rework, food safety) Customers Value Proposition Customer Relation-ships (Demand Creation) Personal assistance through dealers and demo partners (pre-sale) as well as an own support/training center (after-sale) <ul><li>Segment 1: Mowers </li></ul><ul><li>Owners of public or commercially used green spaces (e.g. golf courses) </li></ul><ul><li>Landscaping service provider </li></ul><ul><li>Segment 2: Farmers </li></ul><ul><li>Farmers with manual weeding operations </li></ul>Test: Does the automation allow reducing the headcount by at least one? How much equipment capacity is idle? Is the mowing quality an issue? Test: customer identification: would you use our product if you got it for free? Test: Is it convincing enough to have a dealer explain the technology? Will customers travel to a partnering site/golf course to see a demo? Any differences between segments?
  6. Business Model – Hypotheses & Tests (2) Dealer Network (partner stores, wholesaler) Direct-To-Consumer (retrofit existing equipment) Revenue Streams Channel Cost Structure <ul><li>Value-driven: focus on customer support </li></ul><ul><li>Variable costs: main costs are COGS </li></ul><ul><li>Some scale benefits for purchased components </li></ul>Asset sale Our revenue stream derives from selling the equipment. Test: Do targeted customer segments buy their equipment only from dealers? Or are there some customers being served through other channels such as a direct sales force? Test: Do targeted customer segments buy or rent/lease their equipment? Test: Do customers prefer low price over good customer support? Check price-volume elasticity for purchased material.
  7. Business Model – Hypotheses & Tests (3) <ul><li>Research labs </li></ul><ul><li>Manufacturers of conventional machinery </li></ul><ul><li>Dealers </li></ul>Key Activities Key Partners Key Resources Intellectual & Human (Technology, Innovation, Patents) <ul><li>Innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Customer Education </li></ul><ul><li>Customer Support </li></ul>Test: Can we do all the R&D on sensors and software ourselves? Can we design and manufacture the machinery ourselves? Can we built up our own distribution network? Can we serve the market with an own sales force? Test: Are our products self-explanatory to customers? Do they trust the technology right from the start? Can customers solve technical problems with our products themselves? Test: Would we succeed with competitors having the same technology?
  8. Total Market – Mowing Golf Courses About 30,000 golf courses in key markets* Estimated market = $190 million Sport Fields (Soccer, Football, Baseball) Municipal Parks Highways/ Waterways Total Market = $473 million *.: Key markets: USA, Germany, UK, France, Italy, Japan About 55,000 fields in key markets* Estimated market = $110 million About 135k acres of municipal parks in key markets* Estimated market = $135 million About 6.3 million miles of paved roads in key markets* Estimated market = $38 million Preliminary numbers
  9. Total Market – Weeding Total Market = $500 million
  10. This week’s learnings Interviews Unique industry. It will be hard to get large volume of interviews but experts are available and helpful. Industry Partners Determining the method to partner with industry leaders will be a key element for success. Technology For mowing, all technology is available. Business model must be developed. For weeding, technology is close, but still needs work. Risk is higher with weeding, but a large market available.

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