Challenge accepted

The Katsuna project was created with the sole focus to empower seniors to use smartphones. We lived and breathed on offering such an experience.

As a team we scored pretty well on value creation both on UX design, Software development and delivery despite huge obstacles:

  • Big scope: to offer a full smartphone experience it was necessary to touch all major UI elements of modern smartphones, from system UI to all major apps

  • Accessibility first & system thinking: Laser focus on a persona with different physical and mental capabilities

  • Integration to every major Android release: Porting-integration with the source code changing big time and almost no documentation

Value created but not distributed or captured

But although we delivered a full solution that was fit-to-purpose, we could not distribute and capture the value. Reasons and lessons:

  • OEMs = SA Asia. Initially we wanted to offer the custom ROM for integration with a license fee, later we even did a business case to ship a phone with our own label and we did not. Business relations require close contact and it was impossible for a small team to reach out to decision makers from the major device manufacturers

  • Funding. To ship our own device required a lot of funds. Without proving customer traction we could not get the funds. On top Hardware is Hard. Although we got close a couple of times we did not eventually succeed

  • Missing skillset. Business development and operations were key and completely missing from the team

  • OEM market. Margins went very slim and lots of companies stopped offering custom and differentiated devices

Thanks for the ride