Prep. Workshop: !
Crash Course in 

Venture Design!

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
ABOUT ME

!

ENTREPRENEUR (5X)
!

INTRAPRENEUR (1X)

ALEX COWAN!
AlexanderCowan.com!
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publish...
ABOUT ME

ALEX COWAN!
AlexanderCowan.com!
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
ABOUT ME

ALEX COWAN!
AlexanderCowan.com!
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
AGENDA
Period!

Activities

Deliverables!

CRASH COURSE
IN VENTURE
DESIGN

Tutorials!
Examples!
Exercises

First take on:!...
IT’S A PROCESS

Some techniques are more effective than others.
Personas
But they all require substantial, consistent exer...
VENTURE DESIGN

Foundation in
Design Thinking

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
VENTURE DESIGN

Hypothesize

Learn

Lean StartupStyle Assumptions

Experiment

Foundation in
Design Thinking

Copyright 20...
VENTURE DESIGN

Hypothesize

Lean StartupStyle Assumptions
Business Model
Canvas

Learn

Experiment

Foundation in
Design ...
VENTURE DESIGN

Hypothesize

Lean StartupStyle Assumptions
Business Model
Canvas

Learn

Experiment

User Stories &
Test C...
VENTURE DESIGN

Hypothesize

Lean StartupStyle Assumptions
Business Model
Canvas

Learn

Experiment

User Stories &
Test C...
DESIGN THINKING

Empathy

Creativity
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
DESIGN THINKING- APPLICATIONS

ALEX COWAN!
AlexanderCowan.com!
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
DESIGN THINKING- APPLICATIONS
1

2

Urinate as they go

3

Edges preferred

4

Speedy

5

Empathy

Entry

PB > cheese
ALEX...
DESIGN THINKING- APPLICATIONS
Check & Repair

1

UV Validation

2

Relevant Placement

3

A Better Mouse Trap

4

Powered ...
DESIGN THINKING- PERSONAS

Personas

Problem Scenarios
Alternatives
Your Value Propositions

Foundation in
Design Thinking...
DESIGN THINKING- PERSONAS

ALEX COWAN!
AlexanderCowan.com!
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
DESIGN THINKING- PERSONAS

ALEX COWAN!
AlexanderCowan.com!
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
DESIGN THINKING- PERSONAS
•Women!
•Age 28-45!
•Have kids!
•Socialize with other mom’s!
•Online with Facebook!
•86% said th...
DESIGN THINKING- PERSONAS

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
END USER PERSONAS
Rita 

the Reseller

Rhonda 

the Receptionist

Amy 

the Assistant

Esteban 

the Executive

Orson 

th...
ENTERPRISE PERSONAS
Bruce 

the Business Owner

Sidney 

the Sys. Admin.

Anthony 

the Applications Eng.

Sam 

the Suppo...
DESIGN THINKING- PERSONAS
PROBLEM SCENARIO

X

ALEX COWAN!
AlexanderCowan.com!
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
DESIGN THINKING- PERSONAS
PROBLEM SCENARIO

X

What job(s) are you doing for the
customer?
What existing need or behavior
...
DESIGN THINKING- PERSONAS
PROBLEM SCENARIO

X

ALTERNATIVE(S)

?
ALEX COWAN!
AlexanderCowan.com!
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 C...
DESIGN THINKING- PERSONAS
PROBLEM SCENARIO

X

ALTERNATIVE(S)

?

If they currently use spreadsheets, watch
them use it an...
DESIGN THINKING- PERSONAS
PROBLEM SCENARIO

X

ALTERNATIVE(S)

?

YOUR VALUE PROPOSITIONS

!

ALEX COWAN!
AlexanderCowan.c...
YOUR PRODUCT HYPOTHESIS
A certain PERSONA exists…
… and they have a certain
PROBLEMS(S) …

X

… where they’re currently us...
ENABLE QUIZ: EXAMPLE PROBLEM SCENARIOS
PERSONA

Helen the HR Manager

Frank the Functional Manager

“It’s hard for me to s...
STORYBOARDING A PROBLEM SCENARIO
BEFORE

Problem
Scenario 

+!
Alternative
AFTER

Problem
Scenario 

+!
Value
Proposition
...
EXERCISE- PERSONA CREATION
1. List at least 3 personas (4 min)
Mary the Working Mom
Susan the Stay-at-Home Mom
Douglas the...
EXERCISE- PERSONA CREATION
1. Which are buyers? Users? Both? Note with a ‘B’ and/or ‘U’ on
the Post-It
2. Which have the m...
EXERCISE- VALUE PROPOSITIONS

X

1. Brainstorm Problem
Scenario-Alternative-Value
PROBLEM SCENARIO Proposition Trios. 

(7...
EXERCISE- VALUE PROPOSITIONS
1. Prioritize your value propositions- if you could only pitch one,
which? After that? Etc.
(...
PEER PRESENTATIONS PREP!
For [target customer] who [statement of the need
or opportunity], the [product name] is a [produc...
EXERCISE: PEER PRESENTATION (2 MIN/EACH)

As
Presenter

1) Who is the persona? What kind of shoes
do they wear?!
2) What p...
THE BUSINESS MODEL CANVAS
(Key
Partners)

(Key
Activities)

(Key
Resources)

(Cost Structure)

(Value
(Customer
Propositio...
SEGMENT TO VALUE PROPOSITION MAPPING
Partner_1
Partner_2
Partner_3

Activity_1
Activity_2
Activity_3

Proposition_1
Propos...
EXERCISE- MAPPING PERSONAS, VALUE PROP’S
1. Print out the Canvas !
2. List your prioritized personas
(Customer Segments) a...
DESIGN THINKING- USING PERSONAS

MAKING

STUFF


What does the
user (most) want?

What does the
user actually do?

SELLING...
PERSONAS- DISCOVERY & VALIDATION
Interviews
AdWords, etc. + Landing
Page Tests

What language, propositions resonate? !
Wh...
VENTURE DESIGN

Hypothesize

Learn

Lean StartupStyle Assumptions

Experiment

Foundation in
Design Thinking

Copyright 20...
PLANNING

Now

Then

Lean 

Startup

Five Year
Plan

01 IDEA!
45,000,000%
40,000,000%

02 HYPOTHESIS

35,000,000%
30,000,0...
PLANNING WITH LEAN STARTUP
Do I have real evidence from my buyer that
this is compelling?
What are the key assumptions req...
ASSUMPTIONS & LEAN STARTUP
Priority

Key Assumption

Needs Proving?

1

[A key assumption about
the business]

1

Parents ...
PLANNING WITH THE LEAN STARTUP

Crossing t’s

Dotting i’s

Doesn’t matter unless it helps
prove (or disprove) your
pivotal...
PLANNING WITH THE LEAN STARTUP

Subject 

all your
activities +
metrics to
that litmus
test.


ALEX COWAN!
AlexanderCowan....
THE REVELATION OF CUSTOMER DEVELOPMENT
You know you’re here
and should be doing
this, but. . .

MVP

. . . most people
mim...
DESIGN THINKING- PERSONAS
PROBLEM SCENARIO

X

ALTERNATIVE(S)

?

YOUR VALUE PROPOSITIONS

!

ALEX COWAN!
AlexanderCowan.c...
YOUR PRODUCT HYPOTHESIS
A certain PERSONA exists…
… and they have a certain
PROBLEMS(S) …

X

… where they’re currently us...
LEONID MVP #1: CONSULTING

It pays
CONSULTING

It’s easy to scale
Consultants naturally do customer discovery

ALEX COWAN!...
LEONID MVP #2: PRODUCTIZED CONSULTING
Customer empathymore scope, detail on
problem scenarios

It’s easier to sell
CONSULT...
LEONID MVP #3: SOFTWARE PRODUCTS
Customer empathymore scope, detail on
problem scenarios

CONSULTING

Validated problem
sc...
LEONID MVP #3: SOFTWARE PRODUCTS

Validated problem scenarios
Existing customer relationships

PRODUCTS

Ability to pre-se...
USER JOURNEY: PHOTO-SOCIAL

ASSUMPTION

User’s social network
will like and share the
app’s output

ALEX COWAN!
AlexanderC...
PHOTO-SOCIAL MVP

MVP

Create the target
output by hand. !

!

Does anyone care?

ASSUMPTION

User’s social network
will l...
ENABLE QUIZ: PROBLEM SCENARIO
BEFORE

AFTER

ALEX COWAN!
AlexanderCowan.com!
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
CONCIERGE MVP: ENABLE QUIZ

Concierge MVP?
Sure: Hand craft quizzes on
paper on off-the-shelf tool.

ALEX COWAN!
Alexander...
MVP: Zappos
Some shoe buyers are dissatisfied with
mall retail and would purchase online.
Photograph some shoes and create
...
MVP: Paul Howe & Associates
Some people would like to know how
much their stuff is worth.
Do it for them buy hand.

source...
MVP: Sprig
Urbanites would like Uber-style,
healthy, hot, meals delivered in 20
minutes.
Put it on Eventbrite, email peopl...
MVP: Dropbox
Users would sign-up and pay for a file
exchange service that actually worked
well.
Create a ‘Wizard of Oz’ dem...
IN CONCLUSION…
You have to put the magic in the
software.
(Not the other way around)
Concierge and other nonsoftware MVP’s...
LEAN AT LARGE

Hypothesize

Learn

Experiment

Lean StartupStyle Assumptions

Lean at Large

Foundation in
Design Thinking...
LEAN AT LARGE

Let’s not
argue

Let’s assume.
Then test.

ALEX COWAN!
AlexanderCowan.com!
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Pu...
ASSUMPTIONS & LEAN STARTUP
Priority

Key Assumption

Needs Proving?

1

[A key assumption about
the business]

1

Parents ...
OPERATING WITH LEAN AT LARGE

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
EXERCISE: LEAN STYLE ASSUMPTIONS
List at least 3 assumptions (5 min.)!
“Parents want to better organize the distribution o...
EXERCISE: LEAN STYLE ASSUMPTIONS
1. Rank order them. Which ones are truly pivotal? 

Note with a ‘1’. (3 min.)

Copyright ...
EXERCISE: GROUP PRESENTATIONS (3 MIN/EACH)

1) What’s your idea? (Read positioning statement)!
2) What’s your MVP/next ste...
www.alexandercowan.com/venture-design

www.alexandercowan.com/venture-design

www.alexandercowan.com/startup-sprints

@cow...
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Venture Design Crash Course: Prep for Startup Weekend Oakland

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Venture Design Crash Course: Prep for Startup Weekend Oakland

  1. 1. Prep. Workshop: ! Crash Course in 
 Venture Design! Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  2. 2. ABOUT ME ! ENTREPRENEUR (5X) ! INTRAPRENEUR (1X) ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  3. 3. ABOUT ME ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  4. 4. ABOUT ME ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  5. 5. AGENDA Period! Activities Deliverables! CRASH COURSE IN VENTURE DESIGN Tutorials! Examples! Exercises First take on:! Personas! Problem Scenarios-Alternatives-Value Propositions! Start Business Model Canvas! Venture Hypotheses! Storyboards! MVP Ideas! Customer Discovery Ideas! ! Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  6. 6. IT’S A PROCESS Some techniques are more effective than others. Personas But they all require substantial, consistent exertion. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  7. 7. VENTURE DESIGN Foundation in Design Thinking Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  8. 8. VENTURE DESIGN Hypothesize Learn Lean StartupStyle Assumptions Experiment Foundation in Design Thinking Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  9. 9. VENTURE DESIGN Hypothesize Lean StartupStyle Assumptions Business Model Canvas Learn Experiment Foundation in Design Thinking Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  10. 10. VENTURE DESIGN Hypothesize Lean StartupStyle Assumptions Business Model Canvas Learn Experiment User Stories & Test Cases Foundation in Design Thinking Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  11. 11. VENTURE DESIGN Hypothesize Lean StartupStyle Assumptions Business Model Canvas Learn Experiment User Stories & Test Cases Product & Promotion Foundation in Design Thinking Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  12. 12. DESIGN THINKING Empathy Creativity Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  13. 13. DESIGN THINKING- APPLICATIONS ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  14. 14. DESIGN THINKING- APPLICATIONS 1 2 Urinate as they go 3 Edges preferred 4 Speedy 5 Empathy Entry PB > cheese ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  15. 15. DESIGN THINKING- APPLICATIONS Check & Repair 1 UV Validation 2 Relevant Placement 3 A Better Mouse Trap 4 Powered by Better Bait 5 Creativity ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  16. 16. DESIGN THINKING- PERSONAS Personas Problem Scenarios Alternatives Your Value Propositions Foundation in Design Thinking Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  17. 17. DESIGN THINKING- PERSONAS ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  18. 18. DESIGN THINKING- PERSONAS ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  19. 19. DESIGN THINKING- PERSONAS •Women! •Age 28-45! •Have kids! •Socialize with other mom’s! •Online with Facebook! •86% said they’d like to be more organized! •70% said they’d use an application that organizes them Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  20. 20. DESIGN THINKING- PERSONAS Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  21. 21. END USER PERSONAS Rita 
 the Reseller Rhonda 
 the Receptionist Amy 
 the Assistant Esteban 
 the Executive Orson 
 the Office Mgr. Susan the 
 Small Bus. Owner Simone 
 the Standard User Mikuko 
 the Mobile User Ignatius 
 the IT Guy Keith 
 the Key System User Chuck 
 the Call Center Agent Cindy 
 the Call Center Manager Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  22. 22. ENTERPRISE PERSONAS Bruce 
 the Business Owner Sidney 
 the Sys. Admin. Anthony 
 the Applications Eng. Sam 
 the Support Eng. Paola 
 the Provisioner Percival the 
 Product Manager Itzhak 
 the IT Developer Saul 
 the Site Developer Nietzsche 
 the Network Eng. Sven 
 the Salesperson Frank 
 the Field Eng. Fritz 
 the Field Eng. Manager Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  23. 23. DESIGN THINKING- PERSONAS PROBLEM SCENARIO X ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  24. 24. DESIGN THINKING- PERSONAS PROBLEM SCENARIO X What job(s) are you doing for the customer? What existing need or behavior are you fulfilling? ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  25. 25. DESIGN THINKING- PERSONAS PROBLEM SCENARIO X ALTERNATIVE(S) ? ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  26. 26. DESIGN THINKING- PERSONAS PROBLEM SCENARIO X ALTERNATIVE(S) ? If they currently use spreadsheets, watch them use it and get a copy of it. If they currently put notes on the family fridge, ask about it, photograph it. ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  27. 27. DESIGN THINKING- PERSONAS PROBLEM SCENARIO X ALTERNATIVE(S) ? YOUR VALUE PROPOSITIONS ! ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  28. 28. YOUR PRODUCT HYPOTHESIS A certain PERSONA exists… … and they have a certain PROBLEMS(S) … X … where they’re currently using certain ALTERNATIVE(S) … ? … and I have a VALUE PROPOSITION that’s better enough than the alternatives to cause the persona to act (purchase, use, etc.). ! ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  29. 29. ENABLE QUIZ: EXAMPLE PROBLEM SCENARIOS PERSONA Helen the HR Manager Frank the Functional Manager “It’s hard for me to screen on technical skill sets and I end up sending Frank unqualified recruits.” “I have limited time and I don’t want to be a jerk. It’s hard to screen for all the relevant technical skill sets.” ALTERNATIVE(S) - Call references! - Take their word for it - A few probing questions! - Take their word for it VALUE
 PROPOSITIONS New ability for meaningful screening of technical candidates, increasing % of successful hires and lowering Frank’s workload on recruiting. Less time doing interviews, and better hires sooner. X PROBLEM
 SCENARIO ? ! Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  30. 30. STORYBOARDING A PROBLEM SCENARIO BEFORE Problem Scenario 
 +! Alternative AFTER Problem Scenario 
 +! Value Proposition Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  31. 31. EXERCISE- PERSONA CREATION 1. List at least 3 personas (4 min) Mary the Working Mom Susan the Stay-at-Home Mom Douglas the Dad Nathan the Nanny … ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  32. 32. EXERCISE- PERSONA CREATION 1. Which are buyers? Users? Both? Note with a ‘B’ and/or ‘U’ on the Post-It 2. Which have the most compelling need, desire? Sort top to bottom (4 min.) ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  33. 33. EXERCISE- VALUE PROPOSITIONS X 1. Brainstorm Problem Scenario-Alternative-Value PROBLEM SCENARIO Proposition Trios. 
 (7 min.) ? ALTERNATIVE(S) ! YOUR VALUE PROPOSITIONS Problem: Mary would like to be more structured and consistent in her use of allowances to teach the link between work and financial rewards. Alternative: Track the completion of chores, homework, etc. manually using paper, boards, notes on her phone. Value Proposition: Use our app to easily and consistently implement best practices tailored to your situation. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  34. 34. EXERCISE- VALUE PROPOSITIONS 1. Prioritize your value propositions- if you could only pitch one, which? After that? Etc. (2 min.) ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  35. 35. PEER PRESENTATIONS PREP! For [target customer] who [statement of the need or opportunity], the [product name] is a [product category] that [statement of key benefit/key reason to buy]. unlike [primary alternative], our product [statement of primary differentiation]. Describe your venture accordingly (5 min.) Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  36. 36. EXERCISE: PEER PRESENTATION (2 MIN/EACH) As Presenter 1) Who is the persona? What kind of shoes do they wear?! 2) What problem scenario(s) are you looking at? What alternatives does the persona use now?! 3) What’s your value proposition?! As Audience - Focus on the process; avoid editorial! - Ask a lot of questions! - Think about it like an investor ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  37. 37. THE BUSINESS MODEL CANVAS (Key Partners) (Key Activities) (Key Resources) (Cost Structure) (Value (Customer Propositions) Relationships) (Customer Segments) (Channels) (Revenue Streams) The templates here are made available on the same CC license terms as the original canvas. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA. ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  38. 38. SEGMENT TO VALUE PROPOSITION MAPPING Partner_1 Partner_2 Partner_3 Activity_1 Activity_2 Activity_3 Proposition_1 Proposition_2 Proposition_3 Relationship_1 Relationship_2 Relationship_3 Resource_1 Resource_2 Resource_3 Cost_1 Cost_2 Cost_3 The templates here are made available on the same CC license terms as the original canvas. Segment_1 Segment_2 Segment_3 Channel_1 Channel_2 Channel_3 Revenue_1 Revenue_2 Revenue_3 This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA. ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  39. 39. EXERCISE- MAPPING PERSONAS, VALUE PROP’S 1. Print out the Canvas ! 2. List your prioritized personas (Customer Segments) and Value Propositions! 3. Map your personas to your Value Propositions ! (3 min) Activity_1 Activity_2 Activity_3 Proposition_1 Proposition_2 Proposition_3 The templates here are made available on the same CC license terms as the original canvas. Persona_1 Persona_2 Persona_3 This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  40. 40. DESIGN THINKING- USING PERSONAS MAKING
 STUFF
 What does the user (most) want? What does the user actually do? SELLING
 STUFF
 Who are we selling to?! ! ! Where do we reach them?! With what proposition? Personas Who’s buying?! Problem Scenarios Alternatives Your Value Propositions ! 
 Where?! ! 
 Why? Foundation in Design Thinking Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  41. 41. PERSONAS- DISCOVERY & VALIDATION Interviews AdWords, etc. + Landing Page Tests What language, propositions resonate? ! What is the customer prepared to do? Real-Time Analytics & Recording MVP Tell me about yourself.! What do you do? How often?! How does it make you feel? What do users actually do? Minimum Viable Product Do customers like it? Buy it? Use it? 
 Tell others about it? Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  42. 42. VENTURE DESIGN Hypothesize Learn Lean StartupStyle Assumptions Experiment Foundation in Design Thinking Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  43. 43. PLANNING Now Then Lean 
 Startup Five Year Plan 01 IDEA! 45,000,000% 40,000,000% 02 HYPOTHESIS 35,000,000% 30,000,000% 25,000,000% Revenue% Expense% 20,000,000% EBITDA% 15,000,000% 6.a PIVOT experiments 03 EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN disprove hypothesis 04 EXPERIMENTATION 10,000,000% 5,000,000% 0% !5,000,000% 2012% 2013% 2014% 2015% 2016% 2017% 2018% 2019% 2020% 05 PIVOT OR PERSEVERE? 6.b PERSEVERE ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  44. 44. PLANNING WITH LEAN STARTUP Do I have real evidence from my buyer that this is compelling? What are the key assumptions required to make this business work? How do I definitely prove or disprove the assumptions with a minimum of time and effort? Am I reacting or am I focused on validating my pivotal assumptions? 01 IDEA! 02 HYPOTHESIS 03 EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN 04 EXPERIMENTATION ‘Pivot or persevere?’ Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  45. 45. ASSUMPTIONS & LEAN STARTUP Priority Key Assumption Needs Proving? 1 [A key assumption about the business] 1 Parents want to organize the distribution of Yes allowances with an app * Post the proposition in ads
 online! * Measure sign-up’s on a landing page
 2 Parents want to link allowances to chores Yes * Show prototypes with choices
 * Test in beta 2 Parents have smart phones No n/a [Whether it needs proving! Experimentation [Experiment to ! prove or disprove] Focus on strategic, pivotal assumptions
 ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  46. 46. PLANNING WITH THE LEAN STARTUP Crossing t’s
 Dotting i’s
 Doesn’t matter unless it helps prove (or disprove) your pivotal assumptions
 ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  47. 47. PLANNING WITH THE LEAN STARTUP Subject 
 all your activities + metrics to that litmus test.
 ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  48. 48. THE REVELATION OF CUSTOMER DEVELOPMENT You know you’re here and should be doing this, but. . . MVP . . . most people mimic mature business patterns and start here. Product-Market 
 Fit Scale PIVOTAL
 ASSUMPTIONS
 Nascent
 Test, revise, test...
 Validated- now tactical
 Validated- now tactical
 PRODUCT
 N/A
 MVP
 Focus: efficiency, extension
 What would a startup do??
 ORG.
 Founders
 PARTNERS,
 CHANNELS
 Customer dev. team
 Full functional organization
 Scalable organization
 Probably too soon
 Probably too soon
 Yeah, maybe?
 Yeah, definitely!
 ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  49. 49. DESIGN THINKING- PERSONAS PROBLEM SCENARIO X ALTERNATIVE(S) ? YOUR VALUE PROPOSITIONS ! ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  50. 50. YOUR PRODUCT HYPOTHESIS A certain PERSONA exists… … and they have a certain PROBLEMS(S) … X … where they’re currently using certain ALTERNATIVE(S) … ? … and I have a VALUE PROPOSITION that’s better enough than the alternatives to cause the persona to act (purchase, use, etc.). ! ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  51. 51. LEONID MVP #1: CONSULTING It pays CONSULTING It’s easy to scale Consultants naturally do customer discovery ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  52. 52. LEONID MVP #2: PRODUCTIZED CONSULTING Customer empathymore scope, detail on problem scenarios It’s easier to sell CONSULTING ‘PRODUCTIZED’ CONSULTING It’s easier to staff It’s easier to manage ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  53. 53. LEONID MVP #3: SOFTWARE PRODUCTS Customer empathymore scope, detail on problem scenarios CONSULTING Validated problem scenarios with substantial detail ‘PRODUCTIZED’ CONSULTING PRODUCTS Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  54. 54. LEONID MVP #3: SOFTWARE PRODUCTS Validated problem scenarios Existing customer relationships PRODUCTS Ability to pre-sell ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  55. 55. USER JOURNEY: PHOTO-SOCIAL ASSUMPTION
 User’s social network will like and share the app’s output ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  56. 56. PHOTO-SOCIAL MVP MVP
 Create the target output by hand. ! ! Does anyone care? ASSUMPTION
 User’s social network will like and share the app’s output ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  57. 57. ENABLE QUIZ: PROBLEM SCENARIO BEFORE AFTER ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  58. 58. CONCIERGE MVP: ENABLE QUIZ Concierge MVP? Sure: Hand craft quizzes on paper on off-the-shelf tool. ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  59. 59. MVP: Zappos Some shoe buyers are dissatisfied with mall retail and would purchase online. Photograph some shoes and create a site to showcase them for sale. source: CNN article ‘Zappos’ silent founder’ ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  60. 60. MVP: Paul Howe & Associates Some people would like to know how much their stuff is worth. Do it for them buy hand. source: as told to Lean Startup Circle, SF (Jan 2013) ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  61. 61. MVP: Sprig Urbanites would like Uber-style, healthy, hot, meals delivered in 20 minutes. Put it on Eventbrite, email people, see what happens. source: as told to Lean Startup Circle, SF (Jan 2014) ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  62. 62. MVP: Dropbox Users would sign-up and pay for a file exchange service that actually worked well. Create a ‘Wizard of Oz’ demo tailored for early market (techies) and measure sign-up’s. ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  63. 63. IN CONCLUSION… You have to put the magic in the software. (Not the other way around) Concierge and other nonsoftware MVP’s can be pretty magical. ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  64. 64. LEAN AT LARGE Hypothesize Learn Experiment Lean StartupStyle Assumptions Lean at Large Foundation in Design Thinking COWAN! ALEX AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  65. 65. LEAN AT LARGE Let’s not argue Let’s assume. Then test. ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  66. 66. ASSUMPTIONS & LEAN STARTUP Priority Key Assumption Needs Proving? 1 [A key assumption about the business] 1 Parents want to organize the distribution of Yes allowances with an app * Post the proposition in ads
 online! * Measure sign-up’s on a landing page
 2 Parents want to link allowances to chores Yes * Show prototypes with choices
 * Test in beta 2 Parents have smart phones No n/a [Whether it needs proving! Experimentation [Experiment to ! prove or disprove] ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  67. 67. OPERATING WITH LEAN AT LARGE Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  68. 68. EXERCISE: LEAN STYLE ASSUMPTIONS List at least 3 assumptions (5 min.)! “Parents want to better organize the distribution of allowances using an app” Priority: 1 [1 for existential; 2+ for others] Needs Proving?: yes [yes or no] ... One assumption per index card Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  69. 69. EXERCISE: LEAN STYLE ASSUMPTIONS 1. Rank order them. Which ones are truly pivotal? 
 Note with a ‘1’. (3 min.) Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  70. 70. EXERCISE: GROUP PRESENTATIONS (3 MIN/EACH) 1) What’s your idea? (Read positioning statement)! 2) What’s your MVP/next step?! 3) What are your success criteria for validation? ALEX COWAN! AlexanderCowan.com! @cowanSF Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing
  71. 71. www.alexandercowan.com/venture-design www.alexandercowan.com/venture-design www.alexandercowan.com/startup-sprints @cowanSF acowan@alexandercowan.com Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

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