A bit rough around the edges and still pending a couple more FB messenger permissions I submitted the Bot and website.
I submitted a day or so early to be sure I could get out of my 'dev head' and start looking at how to communicate the message about GreenHabit best over the next days.
TBH I was a bit nervous 😬 about the submission as the timeline for the PH Makers Comp is pretty tight! Thankfully, I'd learned a thing or two from prior submissions.
I'll share them here:
1/ make sure your bot is fully functional (the FB review team will use it!)
2/ if you are requesting special permissions, then make sure you demo them in the recorded video and explain exactly the steps needed to get to that feature in the bot.
3/ give the FB team a direct link to the bot. Don't assume (like had on a prior submission) that they have access to it because you have selected it as the app you are submitting. You need to give them an m.me/yourapp link.
GreenHabit's goal is to make visible the small individual actions and changed habits people make and at the same time encourage others to follow. The premise is that by committing to a change publicly these changes are more likely to stick; and that one small change multiplied by thousands is not insignificant.
The problem GreenHabit addresses is the fact that adopting a green habit is a personal sacrifice. Green alternatives to our normal habits are less comfortable, often cost more and are less convenient. It takes effort and commitment! This effort eats into our willpower.
As a solution - GreenHabits' unique conversational coaching method makes it easier to adopt a new green habit one by one until mastered and make them life long changes. The platform's gamification makes it fun and rewarding with visibility over the impact your change is making.
I am now with a 'rough out' of the bot working and with the time I've spent so far I am past the point of leaving it at that. I am committed to seeing GreenHabit through to success and not just a hackathon project.
There is a lot to do yet to make it a usable and enjoyable product but in order to be effective in its' mission I need to spread the word. I can't just code, I have to build a community around it (that is why I am writing this post right now instead of coding).
When I saw the announcement this year for the PH Makers Festival with the environmental theme I was both excited and stumped at the same time, I wanted to be part of it but nothing came to me immediately so I pushed it to the back of my mind while working on other projects.
After a few hours an idea came to me. I'd been playing with Bots again after not directly working with the technology of some years. I was toying with the idea of using a conversational bot to help coach startup founders and makers some powerful skills I'd developed in personal productivity and focus to get more out of life. The techniques had proven really successful when taught one-on-one or to small groups, but I am a technologist - a maker - not a coach.
I'd developed a few products in this area over the last years and now with Covid-19 there were more people than ever working from home, starting side hustles and challenged with mixing entrepreneurship with paying the bills. In this changed world of work and more people needing this guidance I had ideas that a bot would help deliver this knowledge at scale.
Bingo! the idea hit me... could I use what I know about product design, the psychology of human behaviour and motivation to help individuals to make small changes in their life that would both help them personally and the environment?
This hit me hard! I know I am guilty. I have started to adopt greener habits over time yet gave many up in days... forgotten. I know personally I could do better. It is a choice.
Now I was confronted with a moral dilemma - I had a solution that I know would personally work on me and know it would also work on others to make a lasting change. Am I prepared to commit that amount of effort?
You know that little thing that you know you could change in your day-to-day life that would affect the environment? Knowing your change has been adopted by thousands increases the value of your personal sacrifice.