Each final report is different because each product is different. In some cases the vision is very simple to explain, but the business model is complicated and takes several paragraphs. In other situations, the only way to explain things is with a diagram or with reference to outside research. Sometimes a working prototype is the most compelling.
Below is general guide to the kinds of information that might appear in your report. It is deliberate that there is not a specific required outline. We want you to discuss and debate with your team what makes the most sense for your project and then divide up the work among your team members
Important These are more topics than you can possibly cover in the presentation. It's expected that some be relegated to the report.
- Name: Product or codename
- Team members: names and emails
- One liner: Tweet Length summary of the product
- Vision: A concept for an exciting and impactful product or service with team alignment on exactly what the product is (this is harder than you think!) Can be 2-3 paragraphs.
- Elevator Pitch: Sometimes it is useful to include an Elevator Pitch) for your product
- Description: Sometimes it is useful to supplement with more details of how the product actually works.
- Hypotheses: (in a table) What type of hypothesis? (customer, problem, etc.) Any leap of faith? Which ones did you validate and which ones failed? By what evidence?
- Getting out of the building: List the experiments. Design and results of “out of the building ‘experiments’”” to test hypotheses with multiple proven or disproven. What tools and techniques did you use, what were the results? Which ones would you still like to validate? What dead ends did you pursue?
- Competition: (In a table) Which ones are the closest competitors. What might be your response to them? Why are you worried or not worried about them?
- Value Proposition: Possibly based on the Value Proposition Canvas.
- Mockup/Prototype: A visual mockup or good paper prototype to use in further experiments and as input to the design. It should include all the important screens and give the reader a sense of the product.
- Other Visuals: Any web site, diagram, sketch, photograph, diagram or flow chart that would illustrate the product and the research
- MVPs: Sometimes it is useful to supplement the report with the series of MVPs that you developed to get to this point.
- Product Flow: A diagram showing the flow of screen to screen in the user interface and explanation thereof.
- Conclusion and Strategy: Strategy going forward: Immediate next steps; identified risks and ways of addressing them; reasons to believe this will be a fundable product going although further pivots will be needed
How to write an excellent report
Based on my experience in previous years, here are some general tips that will allow your report to stand out.
- Give consideration to visual appearance of the report, it should look professional.
- It should have a logical flow of an argument with an introduction and a conclusion. It should be readable as a stand alone document without reference to your presentation or previous homeworks in class.
- Try to have as much substance as you can based on outside research, meetings, references etc. Don’t be satisfied with just a few datapoints. Show that you’ve ‘done your homework’
- Your work is evaluated not just on whether you follow the steps or the format but based on whether you are beinmg realistic and intellectually honest about your proposal. Would you actually pitch this to an Angel?
- Report should be submitted as a pdf
- Length should be between 5 and 15 pages, including a title page