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Using the Lean Canvas to Map and Drive your Startup

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The lean canvas is a powerful tool for defining and operating your startup. This deck presents a brief history and overview of the lean canvas and then describes how you can use the tool to "map and drive" your startup.

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Using the Lean Canvas to Map and Drive your Startup

  1. 1. Using the Lean Canvas to Map + Drive Your Startup Presented at to Oct 1, 2015 Kingston, Ontario
  2. 2. Agenda ● What is the lean canvas? ● The lean canvas as map ● Driving with the lean canvas
  3. 3. Caveats + Clarifications ● Frame of reference = tech ● Goal = a real tool for you to use! ● One size does not fit all + YMMV ● Academic context is specific ● Questions any time!
  4. 4. 1. What is the lean canvas?
  5. 5. Let’s start with a definition “Lean Canvas is an adaptation of Business Model Canvas by Alexander Osterwalder which Ash Maurya created in the Lean Startup spirit. Lean Canvas promises an actionable and entrepreneur-focused business plan. It focuses on problems, solutions, key metrics and competitive advantages.” https://canvanizer.com/new/lean-canvas
  6. 6. Business Model Canvas (2008) http://www.freemium.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Blank-Business-Model-Canvas.jpg
  7. 7. Lean Canvas (2009) https://milanpevec.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/lean-canvas_blank.png
  8. 8. The “canvas” movement is part of larger trends in the business world ● Agile ● Lean startup ● Decreasing cost of entry ● Seed investment explosion ● Startup “hacking”
  9. 9. These trends are equally relevant to startups and big companies http://www.businessmodelgeneration.com/book
  10. 10. The Business Model Canvas is a work of “practical business theory” ● Arose out of PhD work - “The Business Model Ontology. . .” ● As such, it’s a distillation of specific theories about value creation ● But it’s also a (very popular) strategic planning tool for business practitioners
  11. 11. The Lean Canvas offers a similar tool focused more on risk and action My main objective with Lean Canvas was making it as actionable as possible while staying entrepreneur-focused. The metaphor I had in mind was that of a grounds-up tactical plan or blueprint that guided the entrepreneur as they navigated their way from ideation to building a successful startup. My approach to making the canvas actionable was capturing that which was most uncertain, or more accurately, that which was most risky. I had found the initial Business Model Canvases I created back in August 2009 missing on things I’d consider very high risk while other things on the canvas didn’t register as high enough risk. http://leanstack.com/why-lean-canvas/
  12. 12. Here’s what Ash removed
  13. 13. Here’s what he added https://milanpevec.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/lean-canvas_blank.png
  14. 14. 2. The lean canvas as a map
  15. 15. Now that we’re situated, let’s have a closer look
  16. 16. Now that we’re situated, let’s have a closer look PRODUCT/COMPANY MARKET/CUSTOMER
  17. 17. 1. Problem ● be specific! ● start small ● multiple problems ● nested problems ● is it falsifiable?
  18. 18. 2. Customer ● be super specific! ● can you find them? ● multiple customers? ● consider personas
  19. 19. 3. UVP ● Not your product! ● Marriage of problem and customer ● Value creation! ● Differentiation ● Tag line?
  20. 20. 4. Solution ● Your product! ● Key features ● Platform? ● Core use case?
  21. 21. 5. Channels ● Be specific! ● Multiple channels ● Now vs. later ● Cost matters
  22. 22. 6. Metrics ● Measuring success ● KPIs ● Vanity vs. Actionable ● Unit economics ● OMTM ● Data availability?
  23. 23. 7. Revenue ● Be specific! ● Back of envelope ● LTV ● Gross margin ● Revenue vs. users ● Future streams?
  24. 24. 8. Costs ● Salaries! ● Channels? ● CAC ● Operations ● Unit economics
  25. 25. 9. Unfair Advantage ● Not my favorite box ● Often doesn’t exist ● Often must be developed/earned
  26. 26. 3. Driving with the lean canvas
  27. 27. But What Does a Business Model Have to Do With My Startup? Your startup is essentially an organization built to search for a repeatable and scalable business model. As a founder you start out with: 1) a vision of a product with a set of features, 2) a series of hypotheses about all the pieces of the business model: Who are the customers/users? What’s the distribution channel. How do we price and position the product? How do we create end user demand? Who are our partners? Where/how do we build the product? How do we finance the company, etc.” http://steveblank.com/2010/01/25/whats-a-startup-first-principles/ “Your startup is a series of hypotheses. . .”
  28. 28. Your job is to fill the Canvas with hypotheses. . .
  29. 29. Then prove or pivot them.
  30. 30. Every startup is at a different stage of proving hypotheses!
  31. 31. Entrepreneurship Class
  32. 32. Problem/Solution Fit
  33. 33. Product/Market Fit
  34. 34. Know your stage, know your riskiest hypothesis, and start testing!
  35. 35. isouweine@gmail.com | @sonofsarah

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