d.light design is a for-profit social enterprise whose purpose is to create new freedoms for customers without access to reliable power so they can enjoy a brighter future. The company designs, manufactures, and distributes solar light and power products throughout the developing world.
When the d.light cofounders were first starting as a student team at Stanford University, they needed a strategy for gathering detailed user feedback to inform product development. They also required first-hand information about competing lighting solutions. Both types of information would have to be gathered on the ground in India, their preliminary target market. However, the team had few contacts to help it gain access to users in the field and limited funding for travel. This mini-case study looks at the plan d.light developed to conduct market research and collect feedback on its prototypes during its early stages.
This story is part of the Global Health Innovation Insight Series developed at Stanford University to shed light on the challenges that global health innovators face as they seek to develop and implement new products and services that address needs in resource-constrained settings.
Acknowledgements: We would like to thank Ned Tozun, Sam Goldman, and Erica Estrada of d.light for their participation. This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health grant 1 RC4 TW008781-01.