UVA Innovation- Accelerate Your Venture

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This is a talk I did for the UVA Innovation center. The center works with researchers at the university to help commercialize their innovations. No footage but for more on these topics please see www.alexandercowan.com/speaking

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UVA Innovation- Accelerate Your Venture

  1. 1. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingAcceleratingYourVentureAn Applied Viewof 4 Key Skills
  2. 2. Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  3. 3. Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  4. 4. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingCUSTOMERS
  5. 5. Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing2007 went out on my own2008profitable,productizedconsulting business2010 software business2011 scaling!2013 keep learning,keep innovating
  6. 6. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingA LEAN PROGRESSIONCONSULTING PRODUCTSValidated problemscenarios withsubstantial detail‘PRODUCTIZED’CONSULTINGCustomer empathy-more scope, detail onproblem scenarios
  7. 7. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingUNDERSTANDING THE MARKET50-70% ofEnterpriseSoftwareImplementationsFail
  8. 8. How do we do thismore efficiently? Arewe implementing bestpractices?How do we improveservice quality? Howdo we verify that?Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingIDEATIONHelp me integrate andstandardize theinfrastructure. And showmy people how to use it.Creating accounts istaking a lot of time/money. And there are alot of mistakes.
  9. 9. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingIDEATIONSERVICESTANDARDIZATION& WORKFLOWSERVICEDESIGNPROCESSAUDIT,DESIGNNETWORKPRINCIPALSOF OPERATION
  10. 10. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingDesign ThinkingLean StartupCustomer Dev.Agile} BIG VOID{ Actual Practice
  11. 11. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingDESIGN THINKING- WHAT ISGOOGLE TRENDS:DESIGN THINKING
  12. 12. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingIDEATIONSelf-LoveAnd ThenDesignThinkingAnd NowSurvivalBack Then
  13. 13. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingEmpathyDESIGN THINKING- WHAT ISCreativity
  14. 14. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingIDEATION
  15. 15. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingEntry1Urinate as they go2Edges preferred3Speedy4PB > cheese5EmpathyIDEATION
  16. 16. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingCheck & RepairUV ValidationRelevant PlacementA Better Mouse TrapPowered by Better BaitCreativity12345
  17. 17. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingIDEATIONPersonasProblemScenarios?
  18. 18. Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing•Women•Age 28-45•Have kids•Socialize with other mom’s•Online with Facebook•86% said they’d like to bemore organized•70% said they’d use anapplication that organizes themIDEATION
  19. 19. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingIDEATION
  20. 20. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingMary is a mom by choice. She had a successfulcareer in accounting, but welcomed the opportunity tobe a stay at home mom. She loves it. But it’s not likehaving kids purged her creative, social instincts. Shewants to connect, she wants to learn, she wants tointeract. Being a mom is a job and she wants to do itwell. That means corresponding with other mom’s onrelevant topics and keeping the family calendar inship shape. She posts to Facebook at least twice aweek and responds to other moms’ items more oftenthan that.For household stuff, Costco is the go-to place, butshe’ll pick up fresh items at the farmer’s market whenit’s up and splurge at Whole Foods when they’rehaving company.Mary the MomIDEATION
  21. 21. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingIDEATION
  22. 22. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingIDEATIONPersonasUserStoriesProblemScenarios?
  23. 23. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingDraftingStoriesPERSONASSTORIESEpic StoriesStoriesTest Cases“As a [persona],I want to [do something]so that I can [derive a benefit]”IDEATION
  24. 24. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingBorrowedwithutmostregardfromBanksy(banksy.co.uk)IDEATION
  25. 25. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingPLANNING!5,000,000%0%5,000,000%10,000,000%15,000,000%20,000,000%25,000,000%30,000,000%35,000,000%40,000,000%45,000,000%2012% 2013% 2014% 2015% 2016% 2017% 2018% 2019% 2020%Revenue%Expense%EBITDA%Five YearPlanThenIterativeManagementNow6.a PIVOTexperimentsdisprovehypothesis01 IDEA!02 HYPOTHESIS03 EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN04 EXPERIMENTATION05 PIVOT OR PERSEVERE?6.b PERSEVEREexperiments provehypothesis
  26. 26. !5,000,000%0%5,000,000%10,000,000%15,000,000%20,000,000%25,000,000%30,000,000%35,000,000%40,000,000%45,000,000%2012% 2013% 2014% 2015% 2016% 2017% 2018% 2019% 2020%Revenue%Expense%EBITDA%Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingPLANNING
  27. 27. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingPLANNINGPLANNINGDo I have real evidence from my buyer thatthis is compelling?6.a YESresultsdisprovehypothesis01 IDEA!02 HYPOTHESIS03 EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN04 EXPERIMENTATION05 REVISE?6.b NOwe appear tohave a validhypothesisWhat are the key assumptionsrequired to make this business work?6.a YESresultsdisprovehypothesis01 IDEA!02 HYPOTHESIS03 EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN04 EXPERIMENTATION05 REVISE?6.b NOwe appear tohave a validhypothesisHow do I definitely prove or disprovethe assumptions with a minimum oftime and effort?6.a YESresultsdisprovehypothesis01 IDEA!02 HYPOTHESIS03 EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN04 EXPERIMENTATION05 REVISE?6.b NOwe appear tohave a validhypothesis6.a YESresultsdisprovehypothesis01 IDEA!02 HYPOTHESIS03 EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN04 EXPERIMENTATION05 REVISE?6.b NOwe appear tohave a validhypothesisAm I reacting or am I focused onvalidating my pivotal assumptions?‘Pivot or persevere?’
  28. 28. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingPriority Key Assumption Needs Proving? Experimentation1[A key assumption aboutthe business][Whether it needsproving[Experiment toprove or disprove]1Parents want to betterorganize the distributionof allowancesYes* Post the proposition in adsonline* Measure sign-up’s on a landingpage2Parents have smartphonesNo n/aPLANNING
  29. 29. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingPERSONA PROBLEM SCENARIO‘This thing should increasesatisfaction & involvement;and reduce support calls.’BrucetheBusiness OwnerPercivaltheProduct Mgr.&ONLINE SELF-CAREIMPLEMENTATION
  30. 30. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingPriority Key Assumption Needs Proving? Experimentation1End users want to log inand do self-careYes!Instrument adequate reporting,create awareness,see if they nibble1Reducing the portalsclicks to destinationfrom 4-6 to 2-3 is goodenoughYes- Log and analyze navigation- Do support calls go down?ASSUMPTIONS ON SELF-CARE
  31. 31. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingPriority Key Assumption Needs Proving? Experimentation1End users want to log inand do self-careYes!Instrument adequate reporting,create awareness,see if they nibble1Reducing the portalsclicks to destinationfrom 4-6 to 2-3 is goodenoughYes- Log and analyze navigation- Do support calls go down?ASSUMPTIONS ON SELF-CARE
  32. 32. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingPERSONA PROBLEM SCENARIO‘This thing should increasesatisfaction & involvement;and reduce support calls.’BrucetheBusiness OwnerPercivaltheProduct Mgr.&ONLINE SELF-CAREFocus oncustomer adminexperienceIMPLEMENTATION
  33. 33. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingTake II- DASHBOARDS
  34. 34. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingPERSONA PROBLEM SCENARIOOrson theOffice Manager‘I still don’t get it.’‘This thing should increasesatisfaction & involvement;and reduce support calls.’BrucetheBusiness OwnerPercivaltheProduct Mgr.&ONLINE SELF-CAREOne click accessvia ‘Dashboard’Focus oncustomer adminexperienceIMPLEMENTATION
  35. 35. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingPriority Key Assumption Needs Proving? Experimentation1Customer admin’s willdo self-care with trainingand awarenessYes!Focus on training customeradmin’s,see if they nibble1Presenting all the usersof interest on the 1stpage will engage theseadmin’sYes- Log and analyze navigation- Do support calls go down?ASSUMPTIONS ON SELF-CARE
  36. 36. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingDASHBOARD
  37. 37. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingPLANNING
  38. 38. Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing$PLANNING
  39. 39. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingORGANIZATION==ApingThenCustomerDevelopmentNow
  40. 40. Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing≠ORGANIZATION
  41. 41. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingORGANIZATION
  42. 42. Big CompanyRecipes AppliedCopyright 2012 Cowan Publishing5 Year Plan ==10x Returns!X: < Odds at LottoVC-EncouragedMenagerieX: Too muchtoo soonX: Lack of Experiencein Hands-on DiscoveryX: Better Luck withthe LotteryX: Fun and Profit-UnlikelyORGANIZATION++New Idea!Expanded TeamRevisions to Plan== Edgy BoardX: Want Lots ofCapital at WorkIt Works! Working 5 Year PlanNew HiresFounders Investors Board
  43. 43. Investors?Advisors?Focus on ValidatedLearningCopyright 2012 Cowan PublishingKey AssumptionsID’ed, ValidatedLower Risk &Capital RequirementResourcesAs NeededClear Focus inHiring & ContractingRoles and SuccessCriteria ClearProgress is Quickand MeasurableFun & ProfitORGANIZATION++New Idea!Full Tilt at a ‘Pivot orPersevere’ MomentIs approachworking or not?Option forNon-TraditionalFunding StrategiesExpanded TeamNew HiresFounders Investors Board
  44. 44. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingDEVELOPMENTWaterfallThenAgileNow
  45. 45. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingIndividualsInteractions>ProcessesToolsWorkingsoftwareComprehensiveDocumentation>CustomercollaborationContractnegotiation>Respondingto changeFollowinga plan>DEVELOPMENT
  46. 46. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingDEVELOPMENTvalidate featurerelevance withcustomersPastcollaborate withdevelopmentteamPresentobserve andenvision what’snextFuture
  47. 47. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingDESIGNTHINKINGLEANSTARTUPCUSTOMERDEV.AGILEpersonasproblem scenariosuser storieshypothesis(assumptions)experimental designroles & teamobjectivesworking product
  48. 48. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingProblem Scenarios for the UndergradPERSONA PROBLEM SCENARIO IMPLEMENTATIONUma theUndergradHow do I participate in a leanenvironment? Do I need tolearn how to code?Uma theUndergradHow to manage in anenvironment of scarcity anduncertainty?How to create & describe deepcustomer understanding?UmatheUndergrad
  49. 49. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingProblem Scenarios for the UndergradWhat wouldJefferson do?
  50. 50. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingProblem Scenarios for the UndergradPERSONA PROBLEM SCENARIOLean Startup(Applied)Design Thinking(Applied)IMPLEMENTATIONUma theUndergradHow do I participate in a leanenvironment? Do I need tolearn how to code?FoundationConcept(Stack)Uma theUndergradHow to manage in anenvironment of scarcity anduncertainty?How to create & describe deepcustomer understanding?UmatheUndergrad
  51. 51. Specialties(VARIOUS)DESIGNUNIXSYSADMINRUBYPYTONJAVAPHP.........SEOANALYTICS...(VARIOUS)MGMT....Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingBasicTechnicalLiteracySOFTWAREFUNDAMENTALSModel-View-ControllerARCHITECTUREFUNDAMENTALSApp. & Platform IntegrationROLES & SYSTEMSIn a Technical TeamStoriesPersonasDevelopment DiscussionFoundationConceptsITERATIVEMANAGEMENTDESIGNTHINKINGCUSTOMERDEVELOPMENTAGILECollaboration AGILEAs Product OwnerORGANIZATION
  52. 52. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingIf not a traditional business plan, then what?Who is thebuyer? User?What problem(s)PersonasProblem ScenariosWhat’s thebusiness?Positioning Statement,Business ModelCanvasWhat has tohappen?Lean Startup-StyleAssumptionsWhat economics andrequirement forcash?Lean FinancialModelWhat’s the operatingenvironment like? Five Forces AnalysisPitch DeckI need a compactoverviewI’m going to abank, traditionalinvestor Business PlanI need to articulatethe businessinternallyAssumptionsBusiness ModelCanvasI need to createempathy (internally)for our users.Personas & ProblemScenarios
  53. 53. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingMaking ProgressIDEA!PositioningStatement?Field Work & AnalyticsIdeation & DesignProduct DevelopmentGeneral ManagementPivotalAssumptions?CustomerDefinitionPersonas?Problem Scenarios?FieldDiscoveryStill Learning?FieldValidationDraftPrototypeQuickyPrototype?Yes?Confident?No?CreateUserStoriesDone?New Learning?DefineMVPCUSTOMERVALIDATION
  54. 54. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingBUY THE BOOKA practical primer for anyonewanting to actually implementtoday’s best practices in productdevelopment (available online orat any major retailer)VISIT THE SITEFree talks, tutorials, andresources for productdevelopment and new ventures.MORE?ALEX COWANAlexanderCowan.com@cowanSF
  55. 55. Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing@cowanSFalexandercowan.com/blogacowan@alexandercowan.comalexandercowan.com/speakingalexandercowan.com/resourcesALEX COWANAlexanderCowan.com@cowanSF
  56. 56. Copyright 2012 Cowan PublishingMARY THE MOMAbout: Mary the mom. . . [Describe like your friend or the beginningof a short story. What kind of shoes does she wear?]. . .Thinks: . . .Sees: . . .Feels: . . .Does: . . .1. List at least 3 personas2. Describe as much as you can
  57. 57. Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing“Parents want to better organize the distribution of allowances”Priority: [1 for existential; 2+ for others]Needs Proving?: [yes or no]Experimentation: [how will most quickly, cheaply prove or disprove]* Bonus Question: How do these relate to your personas?1. List at least 3 assumptions2. Note as much as you can on experiments

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