Lately, I’ve been doing one-day workshops, based on the Foundation Skills day at Founder-Centric, with different accelerators around Europe. The goal of this day is to teach the principles behind Lean, Lean Startup and Business Model Generation, with a particular focus on practical application and “gotchas” for startups.
- [tweetable hashtag="#leanstartup"]Do less. More constraints are better, so you grow with efficiency.
- Sometimes you don’t see movement; failed tests allowed us to learn; thats how we succeeded
- [tweetable hashtag="#leanstartup"]An entrepreneur is NOT an inventor.
- [tweetable hashtag="#leanstartup"]Stealth mode and “coming soon” misses an important litmus test for success - market feedback.
- [tweetable hashtag="#leanstartup"]Capital efficiency – are you front-loading your costs unnecessarily?
- [tweetable hashtag="#custdev"]"There are no VPs and CxOs in a startup" - Steve Blank< /li>
- “I wish I knew that sooner!”
- you DONT know what will work or not
- there different path to get to the goal
- [tweetable hashtag="#custdev"]Customers are full of shit; they lie to us because we ask them to.
- [tweetable hashtag="#custdev"]When you ask “would you buy?” you're invite your customer to lie to you.
- Ask questions in the right way. it really matters.
- [tweetable hashtag="#custdev"]Do 5-10 interviews to know what DOESN'T resonate.
- track actual phrases used by customers, you can use it for copy/ads
- ask them about the problem and how they solve it in their context
- have the problem
- know they have a problem
- have budget to solve the problem
- tried to solve it themselves
- [tweetable hashtag="#bmgen"]Choose your customer. You are NOT Evernote yet. Find your very specific niche you can saturate and show traction.
- Commitment. It’s a good thing until it’s a bad thing. Have commitment about your vision but allow million variations in terms how you get there.
- Vague customer definition.
- Multiple customer definitions.
- Clear definitions speed progress.
- Find early adopters & find specific value prop. Help to communicate and get in front of those people.
- [tweetable hashtag="#bmgen"]“One word” customer segments enable you to invalidate your ideas fast.
Part 3. Business model canvas
- [tweetable hashtag="#bmgen"]What do I test? You can’t test everything. Local maxima problem.
- Starting point matters.
- Being able to see all the different possibilities to choose a starting point (business model).
- [tweetable hashtag="#bmgen"]Really great product is not enough. You have to build a business model to support the product.
- [tweetable hashtag="#bmgen"]Architects prototype so they don't get attached to bad ideas. There is a infinite number of b.model canvases.
- Mckinsey proved funnels is wrong. What matters is timing when asking your customer to pay.
- Snapshots and navigating a space.
- Four actions framework: remove, reduce, increase, broad.
- Take away something you think you need.
- 5 rev. streams means 0 rev streams.
- Learning is progress. Data is a tool.
- We look for data that validates what we believe. “Torture the data long enough and it tell you everything”.
- [tweetable hashtag="#custdev"]If this problem really crucial, I’ll find 5 people spending money to solve it now.
- Get interviewing – 3 poor interviews is much better than 1 very good one. [because you can learn and adapt your interview approach faster by actually DOING the interviews sooner. - Sal]
- [tweetable hashtag="#leanstartup"]What's the thing the really worries me? Now what do I need to build to test it?
- MVP: incremental or piece by piece. Start with a riskiest part.
- Growth engines
- sticky. subscription, marketplace. Are my customers coming back?
- paid acqusition. transactional biz.
- MVP. [tweetable hashtag="#leanstartup"]Action is not intent. Test actual customer behaviour, rather than asking them to state their intentions.
- Landing page, Paper prototype, customer interviews.
- Kickstarter, Dropbox video.
- Holistic approach – look at the ultimate number that makes sense for the business as a whole.
It’s interesting to see how things get interpreted. Sometimes what seem like quick points to me really resonated. I also thought of this as a kind of guide to Lean Startup and related thinking, trying to communicate the context in which a lot of Lean Startup leaders operate, but realise from this that I’m contributing more than just a guide. Seems that it will be useful to expand on some of the quick points I made that didn’t come from the regular suspects.