October 10th, 2020 – Question 992

How many times a month do you go grocery shopping? I go like once every 4-5 days and that ends me around 6 times a month. Tell us how you fit in on our site.

4-7

So there’s two kinds of people that fall into this category, people who go grocery shopping on a weekly basis and people who go grocery shopping when they run out of food. I’m one of those people that goes when they run out of food. I have time in the mornings so I just go super early any day. Most of my friends are the weekly grocery shopping types. I think a lot of people are because they only have time on the weekends.

8 or more

Maybe you live really close to somewhere to buy groceries, maybe you just really like doing things on a whim. I’ve heard this is common in Europe, but as far as I know, this isn’t super common in America. The 20% of people who go to the grocery store 8 times or more also must have so much time on their hands, grocery store trips are lengthy.

less than 3

I can’t think of a good reason to be going to get groceries less than 3 times a month other than doing it on a biweekly schedule. You’re either a busy person or the grocery store is far from you. There’s parts of Alaska they have to airlift groceries out to! Sometimes there’s a few weeks between deliveries, must be hard living out there. Otherwise, you must just be really busy?

Asking the right questions

One of the things we’re doing with Bormal right now is trying to narrow down the problem or problems we’re trying to solve. We started out in the space of entertainment, and part of the effects of using Bormal is that it normalizes many experiences for us. We’re thinking of many directions to move Bormal, including the mental health space, the education space, and the social networking space.

One of the books I was suggested to read for this is called The Mom Test which talks about how startups should ask questions. It caught my attention because it talks about how when you talk with people about your idea, they’ll most likely tell you your idea is great, that of course they would use it, and they would tell their friends. This has definitely been my experience, and I’d like to move away from it. As a company, we’re not looking to be complimented, we’re looking to move towards solving the right problems.

The book talks about how many times, the reason you’ll end up with these responses is because people don’t want to hurt your feelings. I’ve found this to be generally true as well. I’ve always maintained that people are generally nice, and that’s one of the problems with asking questions about your product or product ideas, people are nice and don’t actually tell you what they really think. Sometimes people will tell you what they think with suggestions for how they can use your product, features they’d like to see, or other things like that. That’s when you should listen, because it’s during those times that they’re telling you what’s missing from what you have.

It’s important to be careful even when people are giving you so many suggestions on what they think you should do or add to your product. Most of the time, what you’re hearing is not about the problem they need solved, but rather about a perceived problem they want solved. In our case, we released an ask your own question feature that many users asked for, yet it’s not being used. I thought about this for a while, and perhaps the problem with this is that people don’t want to have to ask questions, they just want their questions answered and they want us to do the lifting of asking questions for them.

Through reading through The Mom Test, and talking with our advisors at Hyperspace Ventures, I learned that we’re going to have to ask better questions.

Here’s some of the questions we were asking before:

  • Do you like our site?
  • What features would you like to see?
  • Would you comment on questions?
  • Would you react to questions?
  • Have you told your friends about Bormal?

As you can see, these are all quite leading questions, and that’s a big no-no. That’s not the kind of questions we want to be asking to get useful user feedback. These are the kind of questions that get you compliments, which are not what we want.

Here’s some of the questions we will be asking now:

  • In your own words, what is Bormal?
  • What value does Bormal provide you?
  • What is the worst thing about Bormal?
  • How did you find out about Bormal?

As you can see, these questions are more open ended and less leading. As we start evolving Bormal more, we’re also going to start asking more and more questions about the actual problem space. The Mom Test provides some easy questions to get started with learning about the problem more. I think these questions are particularly valuable if you can synthesize them well and you’ve already identified a problem you’d like to solve.

  • Why do you bother with X?
  • What are the implications of X?
  • Talk me through the last time X came up
  • What else have you tried to deal with X?
  • How are you dealing with X now?

Thanks for reading! I hope you’ve learned something useful from our mistakes so you can skip making those mistakes yourself!

October 9th, 2020 – Question 571

How much water do you drink every day? Honestly, y’all DISSAPOINT me. Stay hydrated kids

6-8

Okay, this is fine, you’re fine, you’re not super hydrated but at least you’re drinking water. It’s cool to see this at 25%, exactly 1/4th as the random expected value would be. Try to drink your 8 cups of water a day #stayhydrated

8-12

This is like the level most people want to be at, you’re doing good, surprised that this was only 15%. Don’t have much to say to y’all other than keep it up.

less than 6

Alright kids, let’s do better here. What is this less than 6 cups of water a day. Are you living in country where you don’t have access to clean water? Almost all of our users are in the US, so unless you live in Flint, you have no excuse! Teens drink no water and then wonder why they have acne, smh. How are 43% of you so not hydrated?

more than 12

Good for you, I do this. The more water you drink, the less bullshit you have to deal with. If you’re too busy going to the bathroom, you’re too busy to deal with other people’s bullshit. Now, I know many of our users are teens, but believe me when you get to adult life and you have to do corporate meetings for 3 to 4 hours a day, it’s 85% bullshit, it’s worse than class. The best part of remote meetings is now you can just turn off your camera and go do whatever. On top of not having to deal with dumb stuff, you also get many health benefits, like nice skin, better energy, and not having to worry about being dehydrated.

October 9th, 2020 – Question 549

Oh, the Oxford Comma. The cause of many debates on college campuses and the title of an iconic Vampire Weekend song. But what is it?

According to the Oxford Dictionary, the proper definition of the Oxford Comma is “a comma used after the penultimate item in a list of three or more items, before ‘and’ or ‘or’.”

For example:

“Today I went to dinner with my friends, Bernie, and Elton.”

So now we know what it is and what it looks like. What does it say about YOU? It’s not surprising to see that the numbers are so close for this question. Controversial opinions are usually neck-and-neck. 58% of y’all are pro Oxford Comma and 42% are anti-Comma.

Yes

If you’re pro-Comma, you probably think you’re a grammatical genius. And you genuinely believe you are right most of the time. You also like to play it safe when it comes to the rules. You should also follow the Oxford Comma on Twitter. You will be thoroughly entertained.

No

Much like our leather jacket wearers, you’re a rebel. You’re against cluttered and pretentious sentences and you think the Oxford Comma is extra. According to our users, you’re in the minority of those who have answered this question, but you stand your ground. And I respect that.

October 8th, 2020 – Question 911

How do you talk on the phone? Perhaps this one could be worded better, but the answer choices get the question across.

Earbuds

I actually thought this answer would be much more common with how many kids have AirPods now. I thought most people would have said they use their earbuds to talk on the phone, but only 22%. 22 is close to 25, so it’s not much less than 1/4th which is the expected average for these four choices, so maybe we just need to see a larger audience answer these questions. This is a great hands-free phone solution, I feel like this is the Gen Z answer.

Headset

This is what I use, I find it to be really nice to have the mic that is right in front of your mouth. I just find the earbuds with the built-in mics to be non intuitive. Having the mic right in front of your mouth makes it easy to know how to adjust your volume, just move the mic up/down or away/toward your face. I’m surprised it’s only 10% though! 100% of all gamers use headsets. Maybe there’s not a lot of gamers on Bormal yet.

Phone to ear

Wow, the classic, the tried and true, the available since 1876, the invention of the telephone, method. I’m surprised this is the most common one at 37%. Maybe it’s because of the fact that this is the tried and true method that people have been using for over 100 years of talking on the phone. The drawback of this is that your arm gets tired of holding your phone up to your ear eventually, maybe this one is for y’all with the arm strength.

Speakerphone

This is a pretty close favorite to the classic phone to ear method. Also a very classic method, the speakerphone was invented in the 1940s. If you’re a fan of this method, it’s probably because you like to put your phone down and walk around or do stuff while you’re on the phone. I used to use speakerphone when I would be on the phone and trying to fold my laundry or something at the same time.

October 7th, 2020 – Question 1201

Which animal would you shapeshift into to maximize your laughs if you had to stay the same size? Honestly, I am really surprised that “giraffe” won this one. Maybe it’s because of the long neck. I was friends with this one girl in high school who was really tall and had a long neck and some people called her “Giraffe Girl”, so that wasn’t nice. Classic high school really. Tell us which one you’d pick. Also announcement – the star next to the question? You can favorite questions now.

Bug

Honestly, I chose to include this one because I feel like people would be scared of bugs. I’m over 6ft tall so I already feel like a giraffe most of the time and I wouldn’t benefit from turning into a giraffe too much. But you see a 6ft tall bug, and life is different for you after that, people would run screaming in terror. Honestly, it would be a great Halloween prank if nothing else.

Giraffe

Giraffes have made many more appearances on the Bormal site than I had initially thought. Turns out, not only do lions eat giraffes, but people would like to be giraffes, too. We also had a question about what body part of a giraffe you would be if you were a spot on the giraffe, and more than half of y’all picked the neck. Maybe there was something about giraffes that I missed in middle school or whatever.

Whale

Whales are cool because they’re huge. I feel like a human-sized whale just wouldn’t go over that well. Maybe you could use it in the pool? Regularly on land, you’ll just end up a literal beached whale depending on where you transform. Maybe you’ll be a soccer field whale. Really, when I think of whales I think of Pinocchio, and if you’re gonna be a human-sized whale, you won’t even be able to hold Pinocchio in your mouth, what’s the point?

Elephant

Baby elephant. That’s all I can think about this one. You’re a human-sized elephant, you’re basically a baby elephant, maybe even smaller depending on how big you are. Did you know that an elephant pregnancy is like 22 months long and a baby elephant is 200 pounds? I guess that would make being a human-sized elephant pretty cool. What’s the appeal here? The cuteness? The tusks? The trunk? There’s a lot of different appealing things about being an elephant, but the prospect of randomly turning into a huge bug in the mall is just too funny to me.

DAY 53 – 2753

Day 53 finds us at 2753 users. I always like seeing these numbers kind of match up a bit, feels a little more serendipitous. Not a whole lot to update, we’re going through the feature development process still. We’ve just added favoriting questions to our site, they will be up as part of the user profile when we overhaul that!

October 6th, 2020 – Question 1241

Do you believe in not asking questions you don’t want to know the answer to? I am surprised at the number of people that said yes to this considering how many times I’ve heard people ask “what are we” when they clearly don’t want to know what we are.

No

17% of you are too curious for your own good, huh? What’s the point of asking questions you don’t want to know the answer to? I like to explore, but you must really like exploration. I’m honestly surprised how many people know that they do this and still do it. Do you ask a bunch of questions before starting board games? Some people like to know all the rules beforehand, and some like to learn as they go. If you do this I bet you don’t even care to know all the rules, you’re just curious about how to break the rules.

Yes

I’m glad that so many of you have tempered your question asking. I want to know your answers to all the questions I’ve asked on the site. Some of these questions I really want to know the answer to, some of these I was just thinking of at the moment and thought it would be interesting to add to the website. On that note, we’re thinking about changing up a bunch of questions. Thoughts?