MNT REFORM

A laptop that survived
a global pandemic

Mission/Challenge

Lukas Hartman had a vision: to design a truly modular open-source laptop: to empower the user, allowing them to repair, upgrade, and adapt their laptops for their own use cases.​

Outcome

I designed the laptop from the initial concepts until the final version for manufacturing.

Results/Impact  

We launched the crowdfunding campaign in the middle of a global pandemic (05.2020), in only 5 days we funded our project and we closed the campaign raising 200 000 EUR and selling 200 laptops.

Initial concepts

For the design of Reform, Lukas wanted to incorporate a nod to these and other early personal computers and laptops, so that the look would convey an invitation to hack.​

Style Guide

I sketched the fist concepts based on computers from the '80s. Going in the opposite direction of a minimalist style as a MacBook.

MOODBOARD

Computers from the '80s had a lot of character and invited to experiment and take apart

What happens if the product doesn't solve a user's need?

Before we invested any time, money, and effort in developing the hardware, we interviewed our users and validated the desirability of our product through a fake Amazon page.

With innovative ideas come big risks. You can avoid them by testing your assumptions.

Together with Lukas I've designed the first prototypes to test if the idea was viable and feasible. We used a wide range of rapid-prototyping techniques and electronic components that were available at the market to put the first working prototype together.

How to avoid frustrations?

The goal of the second prototype was to test the usability of the hardware. 

 

In our second user interview, we gave the user simple tasks, in order to identify the main frustrations in the interaction with the device. 

Selling 10 units to Beta Testers

After adjusting our product to fit the user needs, we sold, produced, and shipped 10 laptop units for testers.

 

By doing that, we've gained deeper user feedback and validated the desirability of our product.

The co-creation with Lukas and the constant interaction with the end-user were the key factors for the success of our product!

We offered a product that was truly desired by our customers, raising over € 250 000 in the middle of a global pandemic!

WHO

Lukas Hartmann

CEO of MNT Research Hardware/Software Engineer of MNT Reform

Greta Melnik

Head of Quality at MNT Research

Ana Dantas

Industrial Designer of MNT Reform

Paul Klingberg

Renders and 3D CGI Sequence

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@2020 Ana Beatriz Dantas - Berlin