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Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
Venture Design II: Iterating to Success
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Venture Design II: Iterating to Success

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Slideshare supporting workshop here: http://bit.ly/vdesignII

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  • 1. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing Venture Design Workshop II Iterating to Success !
  • 2. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing ALEX COWAN AlexanderCowan.com @cowanSF ABOUT ME Entrepreneur (5x) Intrapreneur (1x)
  • 3. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing ALEX COWAN AlexanderCowan.com @cowanSF ABOUT ME
  • 4. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing ABOUT ME www.alexandercowan.com
  • 5. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing AGENDA Period! Deliverables! Venture Design I: Achieving Customer Relevance Personas Problem Scenarios-Alternatives-Value Propositions Start Business Model Canvas Storyboards Customer Discovery Venture Design II: Iterating to Success Venture Planning- focal hypotheses, experiments, and minimum viable ‘product’ Venture Design III: Focusing & Validating Venture Progress Review of field work, refinements of approach, planning next steps. Venture Design IV: Engineering Your Business Model! Detailing your business model and remaining focal assumptions. Venture Design V: Designing the Right Product! Pairing your learnings on personas & hypotheses with high quality, actionable inputs (stories & wireframes) for product development and product validation.
  • 6. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing PRODUCT IDEAS? ALEX COWAN AlexanderCowan.com @cowanSF Do you have a product idea you can use?
  • 7. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing PRODUCT IDEA: ENABLE QUIZ
  • 8. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing PRODUCT IDEA: WEDOTHAT
  • 9. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing PRODUCT IDEA: MY LETTER, MY STORY
  • 10. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing PRODUCT IDEAS? ALEX COWAN AlexanderCowan.com @cowanSF http://bit.ly/pconcepts
  • 11. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing Foundation in Design Thinking VENTURE DESIGN
  • 12. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing Foundation in Design Thinking ExperimentLearn Hypothesize Lean Startup- Style Assumptions VENTURE DESIGN
  • 13. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing Foundation in Design Thinking Business Model Canvas ExperimentLearn Hypothesize Lean Startup- Style Assumptions VENTURE DESIGN
  • 14. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing Foundation in Design Thinking User Stories & Test Cases Business Model Canvas ExperimentLearn Hypothesize Lean Startup- Style Assumptions VENTURE DESIGN
  • 15. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing Foundation in Design Thinking Product & Promotion User Stories & Test Cases Business Model Canvas ExperimentLearn Hypothesize Lean Startup- Style Assumptions VENTURE DESIGN
  • 16. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing VENTURE DESIGN ExperimentLearn Hypothesize Lean Startup- Style Assumptions
  • 17. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing ALEX COWAN AlexanderCowan.com @cowanSF THE FULL STACK PRODUCT PERSON Specialties DESIGN&UX UNIXSYSADMIN RUBY PYTON JAVA PHP ... ENTERPRISESALES ... SEO ANALYTICS ... ... ... Technical Literacy ARCHITECTURE FUNDAMENTALS App. & Platform Integration ROLES & SYSTEMS In a Technical Team Foundation Concepts LEAN DESIGN THINKING CUSTOMER DEV. AGILE SOFTWARE FUNDAMENTALS Model-View- Controller
  • 18. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing ALEX COWAN AlexanderCowan.com @cowanSF THE FULL STACK PRODUCT PERSON Specialties Technical Literacy Foundation Concepts LEAN
  • 19. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing THE STARTUP: THEN AND NOW Five Year Plan Then !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% Lean Management Now 6.a PIVOT experiments disprove hypothesis 01 IDEA! 02 HYPOTHESIS 03 EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN 04 EXPERIMENTATION 05 PIVOT OR PERSEVERE? 6.b PERSEVERE
  • 20. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing OLD SCHOOL VS. NEW SCHOOL OLD SCHOOL NEW SCHOOL $ !? ? ! ? ? ?
  • 21. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing EVIDENCE-BASED INNOVATION VIA ‘LEAN STARTUP’ Do I have real evidence from my buyer that this is compelling? 01 IDEA! What are the key assumptions required to make this business work? 02 HYPOTHESIS How do I definitely prove or disprove the assumptions with a minimum of time and effort? 03 EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN 04 EXPERIMENTATIONAm I reacting or am I focused on validating my pivotal assumptions? ‘Pivot or persevere?’
  • 22. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing EVIDENCE-BASED INNOVATION VIA ‘LEAN STARTUP’ Do I have real evidence from my buyer that this is compelling? 01 IDEA!
  • 23. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing IDEATION & DESIGN THINKING ALEX COWAN AlexanderCowan.com @cowanSF
  • 24. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing IDEATION & DESIGN THINKING ALEX COWAN AlexanderCowan.com @cowanSF PROBLEM SCENARIO X
  • 25. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing IDEATION & DESIGN THINKING ALEX COWAN AlexanderCowan.com @cowanSF PROBLEM SCENARIO X What job(s) are you doing for the customer? What existing need or behavior are you fulfilling?
  • 26. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing IDEATION & DESIGN THINKING ALEX COWAN AlexanderCowan.com @cowanSF ALTERNATIVE(S) ? PROBLEM SCENARIO X
  • 27. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing IDEATION & DESIGN THINKING ALEX COWAN AlexanderCowan.com @cowanSF ALTERNATIVE(S) ? PROBLEM SCENARIO X 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.
  • 28. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing IDEATION & DESIGN THINKING ALEX COWAN AlexanderCowan.com @cowanSF YOUR VALUE PROPOSITIONS ! ALTERNATIVE(S) ? PROBLEM SCENARIO X
  • 29. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing IDEATION & DESIGN THINKING ALEX COWAN AlexanderCowan.com @cowanSF YOUR VALUE PROPOSITIONS ! ALTERNATIVE(S) ? PROBLEM SCENARIO X Are they better enough than the alternative(s)?
  • 30. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing YOUR PRODUCT HYPOTHESIS ALEX COWAN AlexanderCowan.com @cowanSF X… and they have a certain PROBLEMS(S) … ? … where they’re currently using certain ALTERNATIVE(S) … ! … and we have a VALUE PROPOSITION that’s better enough than the alternatives to cause the persona to act (purchase, use, etc.). A certain PERSONA exists…
  • 31. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing EXERCISE: YOUR VENTURE HYPOTHESIS … and they have a certain PROBLEMS(S) … … 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.). A certain PERSONA exists… ‘HR and functional managers are in charge of technical hires and they struggle to effectively screen for technical skill sets, making the hiring process slower and more labor intensive and producing worse outcomes than they should reasonably expect. Currently they implement a patchwork of calling references and asking a few probing questions. By offering an easy, affordable, lightweight technical quizzing solution, Enable Quiz can acquire and retain these customer personas, delivering material value.’ (4 min.) Enable Quiz example:
  • 32. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing EVIDENCE-BASED INNOVATION VIA ‘LEAN STARTUP’ Do I have real evidence from my buyer that this is compelling? 01 IDEA! What are the key assumptions required to make this business work? 02 HYPOTHESIS How do I definitely prove or disprove the assumptions with a minimum of time and effort? 03 EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN 04 EXPERIMENTATIONAm I reacting or am I focused on validating my pivotal assumptions? ‘Pivot or persevere?’
  • 33. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing EVIDENCE-BASED INNOVATION VIA ‘LEAN STARTUP’ What are the key assumptions required to make this business work? 02 HYPOTHESIS How do I definitely prove or disprove the assumptions with a minimum of time and effort? 03 EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN
  • 34. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing ASSUMPTIONS: ORGANIZED AND PRIORITIZED Priority Key Assumption Needs Proving? Experimentation 1 [A key assumption about the business] [Whether it needs proving [Experiment to prove or disprove] 1 Hiring managers would prefer a lightweight quiz app over calling references and ad hoc probing. Yes * Customer interviews on problem scenario * Value testing through ‘minimum viable product’ 2 Managers want to be able to add their questions as well Yes * Show prototypes with choices * Test in beta 2 Parents have smart phones No n/a Focus on strategic, pivotal assumptions
  • 35. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing FOCUS AND THE LEAN STARTUP Crossing t’s Dotting i’s Doesn’t matter unless it helps prove (or disprove) your pivotal assumptions
  • 36. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing FOCUS AND THE LEAN STARTUP Subject all your activities + metrics to that litmus test.
  • 37. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing 4 TYPES OF LEAN HYPOTHESES PERSONA HYPOTHESIS ALEX COWAN AlexanderCowan.com @cowanSF
  • 38. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing 4 TYPES OF LEAN HYPOTHESES PERSONA HYPOTHESIS PROBLEM HYPOTHESIS ALEX COWAN AlexanderCowan.com @cowanSF
  • 39. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing 4 TYPES OF LEAN HYPOTHESES PERSONA HYPOTHESIS PROBLEM HYPOTHESIS VALUE HYPOTHESIS ALEX COWAN AlexanderCowan.com @cowanSF
  • 40. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing 4 TYPES OF LEAN HYPOTHESES PERSONA HYPOTHESIS PROBLEM HYPOTHESIS VALUE HYPOTHESIS CUSTOMER CREATION HYPOTHESIS ALEX COWAN AlexanderCowan.com @cowanSF
  • 41. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing 4 TYPES OF LEAN HYPOTHESES PERSONA HYPOTHESIS ALEX COWAN AlexanderCowan.com @cowanSF
  • 42. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing PERSONA HYPOTHESIS- CHECKLIST ! Hypothesis Experiment ✔︎ This persona exists (in non-trivial numbers) and you can identify them. - Can you think of 5-10 examples? - Can you set up discovery interviews with them? - Can you connect with them in the market at large? ✔︎ You understand this persona well. - What kind of shoes do they wear? - Are you hearing, seeing the same things across your discovery interviews? ✔︎ Do you understand what they Think in your area of interest? - What do you they mention as important? Difficult? Rewarding? - Do they see the work (or habit) as you do? - What would they like to do better? To be better? ✔︎ Do you understand what they See in your area of interest? - Where do they get their information? Peers? Publications? - How do they decide what’s OK? What’s aspirational? ✔︎ How do they Feel about your area of interest? - What are their triggers for this area? Motivations? - What rewards do they seek? How do they view past actions? ✔︎ Do you understand what they Do in your area of interest? - What do you actually observe them doing? - How can you directly or indirectly validate that’s what they do?
  • 43. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing PERSONA HYPOTHESIS- OUTPUTS & PIVOTS Common Pivots 1) Re-segmentation (more granular) 2) Revision of area of interest/ problem space 3) Strategic pivot Template: bit.ly/personast Outputs
  • 44. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing EARLY MARKET VS. LATER MARKET
  • 45. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing EARLY MARKET VS. LATER MARKET
  • 46. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing EXERCISE: WHO’S YOUR EARLY MARKET? 1) How do they differ within your existing persona definitions? Example: At Enable Quiz, they’re startup’s doing lots of hiring 2) How will you locate them? Example: At Enable Quiz, they’ll read tech rags to see who just got funded. 3) How will they help you transition to your next segment? Example: At Enable Quiz, via case studies, references, and incented posts on LinkedIn. Answer each as best you can: ~ 1 min/each (4 min.)
  • 47. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing EXERCISE: PERSONA DISCOVERY QUESTIONS (5 MIN) Question Form Examples Questions (‘Enable Quiz’) Tell me about [yourself in the role of the persona]? - Tell me about being an HR manager? - How did you choose that line of work? Why? - What do you most, least like about the job? - What are the hardest, easiest parts of the job? - I’ve heard [x]- does that apply to you? Tell me about [your area of interest]? - Do you do screen new candidates? If not, who? - Can you tell me about the last time? What was the trigger? - Who else was involved? What was it like? Tell me your thoughts about [area]?! - How should it ideally be done? - How is it actually done? Why? What do you see in [area]?! - Where do you learn what’s new? What others do? - How did you make your last decision? What do you feel about [area]? - What motivates you? What parts of it are most rewarding? Why? Tell me about the last time? - What would it be like in your perfect world? What do you do in [area]? - Would you show me your interview guide? Example notes? - What the vetting process was like on the last few candidates?
  • 48. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing KEY TO GOOD PERSONA DISCOVERY PERSONA HYPOTHESIS ALEX COWAN AlexanderCowan.com @cowanSF 1) Create a level of person-ability and comfort 2) Acclimate them to the idea that you’re not just wondering about the ‘general picture’ 3) Assure them by demonstration that you’re not selling anything or advocating a point of view
  • 49. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing 4 TYPES OF LEAN HYPOTHESES PERSONA HYPOTHESIS PROBLEM HYPOTHESIS ALEX COWAN AlexanderCowan.com @cowanSF
  • 50. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing PROBLEM HYPOTHESIS- CHECKLIST ! Hypothesis Experiment ✔︎ You’ve identified at least one discrete problem (habit/need) - Can you describe it in a sentence? Do others get it? - Can you identify current alternatives? ✔︎ The problem (habit/need) is important - Do subjects mention it unprompted in discovery interviews? - Do they respond to solicitation (see also value and customer creation hypotheses)? ✔︎ You understand current alternatives - Have you seen them in action? - Do you have ‘artifacts’ (spreadsheets, photos, posts, notes, whiteboard scribbles, screen shots)?
  • 51. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing PROBLEM HYPOTHESIS- OUTPUTS & PIVOTS Outputs Common Pivots 1) Pivot to a more material problem area 2) Strategic pivot Template: bit.ly/personast ALTERNATIVE(S) ? PROBLEM SCENARIO(S) X
  • 52. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing EXERCISE: PROBLEM DISCOVERY QUESTIONS (5 min.) Question Form Examples Questions (‘Enable Quiz’) What are the top [5] hardest things about [area of interest]?! - What are the top 5 most difficult things about making good tech hires? Why? How do you currently [operate in area of interest- if you don’t have that yet]? OR Here’s what I got on [x]- is that right? - How do you currently screen for technical skill sets? - Who does what? - How does that work? What’s [difficult, annoying] about [area of interest]? - What’s difficult about screening technical candidates? - How do you validate they have the right skill set? - How are the actual outcomes? Examples? What are the top 5 things you want to do better this year in [general area of interest]? - What are the top 5 things you want to do better in technical recruiting and hiring? Why is/isn’t [your specific area of interest on that list]?! - Why is/isn’t screening for technical candidates on that list?
  • 53. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing KEY TO GOOD PROBLEM DISCOVERY PROBLEM HYPOTHESIS ALEX COWAN AlexanderCowan.com @cowanSF 1) Avoid prompting, progressing to it only as a last ditch effort 2) Get them in storytelling mode- focus on specifics and details 3) Focus on just getting them talking- mind the time but be careful about interrupting for course corrections
  • 54. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing EVIDENCE-BASED INNOVATION VIA ‘LEAN STARTUP’ Do I have real evidence from my buyer that this is compelling? 01 IDEA! What are the key assumptions required to make this business work? 02 HYPOTHESIS How do I definitely prove or disprove the assumptions with a minimum of time and effort? 03 EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN 04 EXPERIMENTATIONAm I reacting or am I focused on validating my pivotal assumptions? ‘Pivot or persevere?’
  • 55. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing EVIDENCE-BASED INNOVATION VIA ‘LEAN STARTUP’ 04 EXPERIMENTATIONAm I reacting or am I focused on validating my pivotal assumptions? ‘Pivot or persevere?’
  • 56. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing 4 TYPES OF LEAN HYPOTHESES PERSONA HYPOTHESIS PROBLEM HYPOTHESIS VALUE HYPOTHESIS ALEX COWAN AlexanderCowan.com @cowanSF
  • 57. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing VALUE HYPOTHESIS- CHECKLIST ! Hypothesis Experiment ✔︎ Your product is better enough than the alternative to make sales (traffic, etc.) - You successful execute a (paid?) concierge MVP or - You successfully pre-sell the product or - You successfully drive drive sign-up’s online ✔︎ Customers will readily perceive this superiority if you [x]! - (see above)
  • 58. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing PROBLEM HYPOTHESIS- OUTPUTS & PIVOTS Outputs Common Pivots 1) Pivot from pre-conceived solution/ proposition 2) Pivot to new problem area 3) Strategic pivot Template: bit.ly/personast VALUE PROPOSITION(S) X ? !
  • 59. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing EXERCISE: VALUE DISCOVERY QUESTIONS (2 min.) Question Form Examples Questions (‘Enable Quiz’) How do you decide on and buy [stuff in general area of interest]? ! - How do you buy [access to recruiting services, resume searches, HR software, training, prof. ed. books]? - Who’s involved? What’s the scope of individual discretion? How much did you spend [last period]?! - How much do you spend on [items of interest]? [most of this needs to be obtained through direct experimentation (next section); the following are useful but probably not pivotal]
  • 60. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing TESTING YOUR HYPOTHESIS VIA ‘MVP’ M V P inimum What is the fastest, cheapest way to validate or invalidate this option so we give ourselves more options on future success?
  • 61. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing TESTING YOUR HYPOTHESIS VIA ‘MVP’ M V P iable Will it give us a definitive result? What are the actionable metrics? inimum
  • 62. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing TESTING YOUR HYPOTHESIS VIA ‘MVP’ M V Product Does it really require actual product? Can we use alternative brands, channels? iable inimum
  • 63. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing TESTING YOUR HYPOTHESIS VIA ‘MVP’ is not necessarily actual software/product (see concierge MVP) is a first and foremost learning vehicle … vs. a project plan (OK to do those things but always subordinate them to the learning mission) vs. a product development project M V Product iable inimum
  • 64. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing THE MVP LITMUS TEST output != outcome Is your MVP driving an extraordinary outcome? Or is it a vehicle to create output as usual?
  • 65. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing CASE STUDY: DROPBOX OPPORTUNITY Underlying demand and supporting infrastructure ready for a great file sharing app. CHALLENGE Building a great cross-platform app. required VC funding. VC’s saw a space with lots of existing competitors struggling to get traction.
  • 66. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing CASE STUDY: DROPBOX Persona Problem Scenario Alternatives Value Prop. Tom the Techie- early adopter who works on projects that require swapping a lot of files between a shifting network of collaborators. It’s difficult to share files between a network of collaborators, particularly if they’re: big or numerous or change a lot. Many existing products, but none of them super compelling and widely adopted. Also, custom setup’s which work but are cumbersome to set up and maintain. A file sharing service that truly feels transparent to the user across all major platforms- OSX, iOS, Windows, etc. What Minimum Viable Product (MVP)? That you can bootstrap? That doesn’t require software at all?
  • 67. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing THE ‘WIZARD OF OZ’ MVP Result: Excellent traction and conversion to sign-up’s. Strong validation signal. Created a synthetic demo tailored for early market (techies), promoted it, and measured email sign-up’s.
  • 68. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing EXAMPLE: ENABLE QUIZ OPPORTUNITY Hiring quality technical talent is critical for many companies, but screening for skill sets is time consuming and awkward. CHALLENGE The founding team wants to bootstrap without external funding so they need to focus on a specific technical domain, one that will get them strong early traction.
  • 69. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing EXAMPLE: ENABLE QUIZ Persona(s) Problem Scenario Alternatives Value Prop. Helen the HR Manager- responsible for sourcing and screening job candidates Frank the Functional Manager- hiring manager responsible for acquiring and managing talent Helen: hard to screen for technical skills Frank: never has enough time for recruiting and doesn’t want to be a jerk during interviews Helen: call references, take their word for it (on skills) Frank: ask a few probing questions A lightweight quizzing app that has Helen can use to do quick, effective screening. What Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for deciding on the right first topics? That you can bootstrap? That doesn’t require software at all?
  • 70. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing THE ‘PRE-SALES’ MVP Target Outcome: Informed selection of starter topics (and baseline on initial conversions). Ran Google AdWord campaigns across top ranking technical topics, measuring click through rate and landing page sign-up’s.
  • 71. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing CASE STUDY: LEONID SYSTEMS OPPORTUNITY Major disruption and new product opportunities among telecom providers with introduction of voice-over-IP and cloud communications. IT systems need to be rethought. CHALLENGE As a one-person startup, Leonid had actionable ideas but not enough resources to execute an end-to-end solution.
  • 72. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing CASE STUDY: LEONID SYSTEMS Persona Problem Scenario Alternatives Value Prop. Chris the CTO- has funding and mandate to transition the business towards hosted services; many bases to cover IT is the most expensive, most risky area when making changes to the business. 1) Place large, risky bets on major new system upgrades. 2) Make small incremental updates (but risk not keeping pace). Leonid will offer modular, integration-friendly applications in two critical areas: 1) services provisioning and 2) end user self-service portals. What Minimum Viable Product (MVP)? That you can bootstrap? That doesn’t require software at all?
  • 73. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing LEONID MVP’s: FROM CONSULTING TO PRODUCT CONSULTING ‘PRODUCTIZED’ CONSULTING PRODUCTS Started with consulting as a ‘concierge’ vehicle to create tactical solutions, evolving to full-fledged product. Result: Steady step-wise growth with consistently better understanding of key customer problem scenarios.
  • 74. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing CASE STUDY: ZAPPOS OPPORTUNITY An observed problem scenario around the difficulty of finding the right shoe at local retail and a giant (but nascent) market in online retail (1999). CHALLENGE Consumers still in the early stages of adopting and habituating to online retail. Founder (Nick Swinmurn) wanted to bootstrap.
  • 75. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing CASE STUDY: ZAPPOS Persona Problem Scenario Alternatives Value Prop. Sam the shoe-hound- knows what he wants but not where to get it. Sam is unable to find the shoe he wants at local retailers, wasting time and getting frustrated. Possibly mail order or wait until he’s in a bigger market to go to the store. Make the shoe Sam wants accessible online and make sure he has a great experience so he’ll come back and not have to think about where to find the shoe he wants anymore. What Minimum Viable Product (MVP)? That you can bootstrap? That doesn’t require software at all?
  • 76. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing CASE STUDY: ZAPPOS Result: It worked and the rest is history. Photographed shoes and put them online to observe whether anyone bought them.
  • 77. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing CASE STUDY: SPRIG source: as told to Lean Startup Circle, SF (Jan 2014) Startup looking for early traction for investors: Whole Foods (deli) meets Uber. OPPORTUNITY Large opportunity to resegment and disrupt food prep. and delivery business. Desire to move fast and learn fast. CHALLENGE Some existing competitors and slow fundraising process. Food prep. and delivery requires infrastructure.
  • 78. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing CASE STUDY: SPRIG Persona* Problem Scenario Alternatives Value Prop. Paula the Professional- health conscious, short on time, moderate to high income, already uses similar services like Uber. I want to have a nice, healthy dinner with no hassle and at a price I can afford (like $12). Going to the store or an expensive, take-out, or a slow delivery service (>20 minutes). A healthy meal like you would order a cab (on Uber): “Dinner on Demand … Prep Time is 3 Taps … Delectable Prices” (Sprig Home Page) What MVP? That you can bootstrap? That doesn’t require software at all? * This is me interpolating/guessing on an item; not part of the Sprig team’s explanation. source: as told to Lean Startup Circle, SF (Jan 2014)
  • 79. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing SPRIG MVP & EXPERIMENTATION Result: Excellent uptake and valuable observations on the proposition and customer journey. Hire a chef for the day, put the offer on Eventbrite, email friends - concierge MVP. source: as told to Lean Startup Circle, SF (Jan 2014)
  • 80. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing CASE STUDY: PAUL HOWE & ASSOCIATES source: as told to Lean Startup Circle, SF (Jan 2013) OPPORTUNITY Funded startup team rapidly iterating through B2C concepts with lightweight experimentation. One idea: Some people would like to know how much their stuff is worth. CHALLENGE Iterate to a successful concept while the time and money permits.
  • 81. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing CASE STUDY: PAUL HOWE & ASSOCIATES Persona* Problem Scenario Alternatives Value Prop. ? I have a lot of stuff around that I might want to sell and/or I’m just generally curious about how much it’s worth, how much I’ve spent.* Going through credit card statements or receipts. It’s interesting and possibly useful to know how much stuff you have.* What MVP? That you can bootstrap? That doesn’t require software at all? * This is me interpolating/guessing on an item; not part of the team’s explanation. source: as told to Lean Startup Circle, SF (Jan 2013)
  • 82. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing CONCIERGE MVP: PAUL HOWE & ASSOCIATES Result: They don’t care. Time to move on to the next concept. Get a few sign-up’s with access to email and bank account info. Review by hand on a concierge basis and compile a statement for them. Do they care? source: as told to Lean Startup Circle, SF (Jan 2013)
  • 83. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing CASE STUDY: STEALTH PHOTO-SOCIAL STARTUP OPPORTUNITY Lots of exciting things happening in the photo-social space. CHALLENGE The team had several ideas but few resources.
  • 84. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing CASE STUDY: STEALTH PHOTO-SOCIAL STARTUP Persona Problem Scenario Alternatives Value Prop. Existing poster of photos. Personas: Martha the Mom, Pat the Party Planner, Teresa the Teen Social Butterfly [I want to do something interesting with my photos so that my social graph rewards me with interest and acclaim] Manually enhance photos, use alternative enhancers/amplifiers like Instagram [This is something users can do with photos that will generate engaging content for their social graph]
  • 85. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing USER JOURNEY: PHOTO-SOCIAL ASSUMPTION User’s social network will like and share the app’s output What MVP? That you can bootstrap? That doesn’t require software at all?
  • 86. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing PHOTO-SOCIAL STARTUP: MVP & EXPERIMENTATION MVP Create the target output by hand (concierge style) Does anyone care? ASSUMPTION User’s social network will like and share the app’s output
  • 87. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing ABOUT MVP’S AND PRODUCTS IN GENERAL You have to put the magic in the software. (Not the other way around) Concierge and other non- software MVP’s can be pretty magical. Find 100 people that are really into it and you can probably grow.
  • 88. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing EXERCISE: YOUR (CONCIERGE) MVP Component Notes What is the experience you want to provide? - What are the preconditions and general steps? What measurable outcome would validate your value proposition? - How will you know if it’s delivering value? - This could be: a) measurably better outcomes b) activity levels c) follow-on interest How will you find participants and what are the core screening/qualification criteria? - How will you know if the subjects are relevant to your core hypothesis? (5 min.)
  • 89. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing LEAN AT LARGE Priority Key Assumption Needs Proving? Experimentation 1 [A key assumption about the business] [Whether it needs proving [Experiment to prove or disprove] 1 Parents want to organize the distribution of ll ith Yes * 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
  • 90. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing Foundation in Design Thinking ExperimentLearn Hypothesize Lean Startup- Style Assumptions VENTURE DESIGN Lean at Large
  • 91. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing PLANNING WITH LEAN AT LARGE Let’s assume. Then test. Let’s not argue
  • 92. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing PLANNING WITH LEAN AT LARGE
  • 93. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing THINK SEE FEEL DO PERSONAS Who? X PROBLEM SCENARIOS & ALTERNATIVES What? VALUE PROPOSITIONS & ASSUMPTIONS What if? ! USER STORIES & PROTOTYPES How? Scale? Pivot? PRODUCT & PROMOTION / CUSTOMER DISCOVERY & EXPERIMENTS Tell me…? FULL CIRCLE
  • 94. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing FULL CIRCLE (IN REVERSE) ! PRODUCT & PROMOTION USER STORIES & PROTOTYPES Did the implementation deliver on the story? / CUSTOMER DISCOVERY & EXPERIMENT How did the customer/user react? VALUE PROPOSITIONS & ASSUMPTIONS ! Was the implemented story relevant to the proposition? X PROBLEM SCENARIOS & ALTERNATIVES Is problem relevant? Is the proposition better vs. alternatives? THINK SEE FEEL DO PERSONAS Do we understand this person? What makes them tick?
  • 95. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing CLASS PRESENTATIONS As Presenter 1) What is it? Use pos. statement. 2) How are you doing on the personas checklist? 4) The problem scenarios checklist? 5) Where/how will you find interview subjects? What’s your target number? 6) Ideas for MVP? Next steps, timing? As Audience - Focus on the process; avoid editorial - Ask a lot of questions - Think about it like an investor (5 min./each)
  • 96. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing POINT OF EMPHASIS You are the most important part of the experiment Make sure you’re learning
  • 97. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing AGENDA Period! Deliverables! Venture Design I: Achieving Customer Relevance Personas Problem Scenarios-Alternatives-Value Propositions Start Business Model Canvas Storyboards Customer Discovery Venture Design II: Iterating to Success Venture Planning- focal hypotheses, experiments, and minimum viable ‘product’ Venture Design III: Focusing & Validating Venture Progress Review of field work, refinements of approach, planning next steps. Venture Design IV: Engineering Your Business Model! Detailing your business model and remaining focal assumptions. Venture Design V: Designing the Right Product! Pairing your learnings on personas & hypotheses with high quality, actionable inputs (stories & wireframes) for product development and product validation.
  • 98. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing RECOMMENDED NEXT STEPS “Homework” 1. Draft a working set of assumptions 2. Design your experiments and execute. GOOGLE DOC TEMPLATE FOR ABOVE: http://bit.ly/venturetemplate
  • 99. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing RECOMMENDED NEXT STEPS Follow-On Workshops 1. For Creating Strong Personas Day in the Life Workshop: http://bit.ly/daynthelife 2. For Structuring Your Product Value Propositions into Testable Assumptions Venture Design II: Iterating to Success: http://bit.ly/vdesignII 3. For Designing a Profitable Business Model Venture Design IV: Engineering Your Business Model: http://bit.ly/vdesignIV 4. For Linking the Above to an Effective Product Development Program Venture Design V: Designing the Right Product: http://bit.ly/vdesignV
  • 100. Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing acowan@alexandercowan.com @cowanSF www.alexandercowan.com/venture-design bit.ly/vdesignII www.alexandercowan.com/startup-sprints

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