Cost Structure & Functional Prototypes


Design Notebooks

Let’s take a few minutes to review some of your Design Notebooks from last week.


Cost Structure

Let’s review the project canvas.

  1. Problem & Existing Alternatives
  2. Customer Segments & Early Adopters (Target Audience)
  3. Unique Value Proposition & High Level Concept
  4. Solution
  5. Channels
  6. Revenue Streams – what’s in it for you?
  7. Cost Structure
  8. Key Metrics of Success
  9. Unfair Advantage

What is cost structure?

Let’ go around the room and talk about what expenses we may have for our projects,

  • Expenses can be one time, like buying a computer or peripheral, or they can be repeating or ongoing, like renting equipment, rendering time, or a paid account on Github for private development repositories.
  • Be sure to think about promotional expenses like printing for posters or business cards that may not be directly related to your project, but are important for showing it.


Take 1/2 hr or so to think about your project and what expenses you’ll need to cover.

  • What software, hardware, equipment or services do you need to develop your project? List everything and include price estimates
  • What kinds of software, hardware, equipment or services do you need to present your project at the Spring Show? List everything and include price estimates
  • Create a master list in two sections, development expenses and show expenses.
  • Add your expense list to your project canvas


Project Canvas

  • Update the Cost Structure block of your project canvas with the expenses list you worked up in class.
  • Review your canvas and reflect on the direction of your project.
  • Does your project directly address your stated problem?
  • Does it target the needs of your early adopters?
  • Have you quantified what you’ll get in return for successfully completing (and showing) your project?

Functional Prototypes

  • If you haven’t already begun translating your paper prototype into a functional prototype, begin doing so now
  • Focus on the most difficult (or uncertain) aspect of the project first
  • You want to eliminate the unknowns as quickly as possible so you can identify what resources you’ll need in order to successfully complete your project next semester

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