With an ambitious goal to improve millions of substance farmers' lives in Sub-Saharan Africa, we have chosen to embark on a human-centered design (HCD) journey. For us that means going directly to our customers and learning about their experiences and needs. That also means asking a lot of questions. A Product Manager at Facebook told me recently that we'll need to interview 6-8 people for each "type" we find. Type will be based on differentiating characteristics relevant to the market. These interviews will yield sufficient data for us to be able to see trends and commonalities amongst each type.

Once we collect this information, we will brainstorm. As a team we will come up with a first draft of each:

Value Proposition
Target Customer Segment
Marketing Channel
Revenue Model

Next, we will create a prototype that applies to this list, and finally we will test this prototype with our same customers.

Our other approach is to simultaneously use rapid prototyping. Iterate, iterate, iterate. That means after each prototype is launched, we're looking to create the next one. Therefore, we will interview our target customers while they are testing the first prototype. Here we'll learn more about which features and prices they like, and those they don't. From there we will brainstorm again to refine our prototype.

Markit is taking this approach until we find the right prototype, the right product, for our customers.