Locabal | Locabal
Locabal is a startup interested in improving the online marketplace experience. Currently, there are two options for artisans: pay a developer to create a website, which usually is low-quality and high-cost; or sell products through a site such as Etsy, where their products can easily get lost amidst hundreds of listings that are unorganized and often of poor quality. Locabal believes that the success of artisans and small businesses begins with success in their local community. We want to honor local artisans who produce quality products. By allowing them to easily create a profile, tell their story, and showcase their talents, Locabal gives them a voice. We plan to offer easy-to-use tools to help sell and market products. The goal is not only to increase sales for artisans online, but to encourage people to visit sellers' brick-and-mortar stores as well as get to know the people behind the products they create.
The goal of the Locabal Design Studio project is to create a fully-functional initial web service for buyers and sellers to help us enter the market, understand the needs of our customer base, and evolve our future product offerings. Because Locabal is in its infancy, there are a lot of unique opportunities with this project. Students will get to learn the steps towards building a brand-new product, positioning of software / product development to evolve the business, have stake in the company's success, and work in a fast-paced development environment. Locabal's goal is to stand up an initial online service that attracts both high-quality artisans and active buyers so that we can better understand our target market and customer base, as well as enhance our business model. This will be accomplished by a strong social integration, an intuitive recommendation engine, and support for artisans so that they as well as Locabal can be successful. By leveraging a buyer's social network, interests, friend's interest, and other data, we can recommend products that the buyer didn't even know they wanted until they saw them. Users can create wishlists and registries. A mobile application will allow users to rate and review businesses on the go when they visit, as well as receive discounts and pre-order items for pickup. From there, we can move the company to its next stage and help push the limits of what our customers can accomplish.
Because of the current stage of development in the project, the scope of the Design Studio project will likely change and adapt as we acquire a better sense of what customers need. Furthermore, DS students will have a large say in what features get implemented and at what point in the year. Second semester goals will be revised as needed to fit the needs of the company.
This project will include many opportunities from both the technology side and the business side. Although we hope to assign students to tasks that will best fit their strengths and interests, we think that it is important that all team members have valuable input in all aspects of the company.
This project will require students who are adaptable to change and who can quickly turn around work. The web service will be written in .NET MVC. In the spring, development may include apps for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone 8. Although our project is fairly large-scale, the project will develop along whatever path is most important for the development of the company. A major part of this project will be positioning our software solution to achieve short-term growth of the company. Business objectives will have a big influence on what the software will need to do, and members of the DS team will have a major stake in helping us form those objectives. This project isn't just about software architecture, it is about business architecture and the role software can play in shaping it and our business.
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