I’m feeling the Big Picture from our customer research. It’s a big big picture.

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They break down into these characteristics: culture of shame, niceness, trust, sharing and cultural shifts. The task for Protagonist Lab is to make an app that functions with these pieces. How do you even make a niceness app?

We are at the tail end of our customer sprint. It’s going to run over. Gloriously. Uni students are just now returning. We spoke with many professors during the summer break. They shared amazing stories and observations. Plus, we dug through academic journals for recent studies on cooperative learning. During the past ten days i’ve witnessed so many critical points. It has been amazing to place them into cogent data points. These data points are making a beautiful line – beautiful big picture line.

I didn’t see the big picture until I pieced three insights together. They are niceness and trust and sharing. It’s the preschool trifecta. These three qualities are so large in the world, in our cities, in our homes. These traits make civility. They form common ground, comfort and foster the environment needed to ask for help. These traits counter shame. Shame can really limit use. The platform UX design and features need to make space for niceness, trust and sharing so it can be useful.

We knew we were treading into the Brené Brown vulnerability space from the beginning. But I didn’t see the culture shift. I just took it as a given. There is a lot of study about accepting vulnerability, growth mindset, and failure informing growth. But it fits into the bigger picture when you look at another market space – health. Erika my Co-Founder shared a podcast from Nathan Latka with me. He interviewed Ida Tin the founder of Clue a period and ovulation tracker for Android and iphone. Ida explained that Clue is deferring income and working on growing usership. That is super interesting. Why make the strategic shift when the users indicate application acceptance and you can start the money tap now? I think it is because Clue is working with a cultural shift in body health. That cultural shift is identified a new market space. Many other startups are also moving into this space. Catching the wave of changes in culture means setting aside income today for a larger piece of the women’s health market might be wise. Can we also make a tool that fits the need of the cultural market space we see emerging?

I am excited/nervous because our mission is to create something brand new with new tools that customer wants. And will use a lot. It’s such a fun project. If I didn’t know I was in a lab before; i do now. I think I’m going to need a lab coat.


Paul Mosca founder of Protagonist Lab. MA Social Science, Essex University. Business ideation and execution consultant. Avid reader. Loves playing the drums. Information Technology is only as interesting as the people it serves.