Digging Deeper into Lean Business Model Canvases

I’m a big fan of Ash Maurya’s Lean Canvas. I was also very impressed with Steve Blank’s new initiative Lean Launch Lab, which combines a canvas business model tool and a blogging tool for startups to use and share information regularly with investors. If you haven’t seen it, check out his recent presentation: When the […]

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Don’t Code What You Can Mechanical Turk

Mechanical Turk is a great system for outsourcing repetitive, tedious tasks. People use it (and other similar services) for all sorts of things: filling out surveys, getting research done, data analysis & acquisition, etc. You submit your task, indicate how many times you want it done and how much you’ll pay, and people do the […]

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How to Structure Good Hypotheses for Your Lean Startup

Crafting good hypotheses for your startup is hard. Most people focus on solutions rather than problems. That leads to a ton of products getting launched with zero traction.; the all-too-common “solutions looking for problems.” A good hypothesis is important because it leads to good experimental design. Good experimental design is important because you need it […]

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A Day in the Life of Your Customer

To sell something effectively you really need to understand your customer. You need to understand who they are, what makes them tick, their motivations, fears, influencers, etc. You can look into customer profiling and personas as mechanisms for understanding your customers better. Another tactic is to create a “day in the life” storyboard. Assuming you […]

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Before You Start-Up Ask Yourself This Question

“Is it REALLY worth building?” Too few entrepreneurs really ask themselves this question before starting up their business. In some cases, entrepreneurs don’t even think to ask themselves the question. Sometimes, entrepreneurs just lie to themselves. Regardless of why entrepreneurs don’t ask the question it’s often a fatal mistake. A lot of people are starting […]

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The Challenging Pace of Lean Startup

Some people think of startups as sprints. Some think of startups as marathons. My take: They’re marathons that you have to sprint through. Most successful startups take a long time; the truth about “overnight success” is that it’s never really accomplished overnight (or even over a few nights.) We’re seeing a lot of early exits, […]

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Interrupt Users to Increase their Adoption and Engagement

You want someone to use your product, then get in their face and force them to. I’ve made this argument before. One of the biggest challenges for any startup is engagement – acquiring users is hard, keeping them is usually much harder. And even when users say they love your product or think it adds […]

How To Prioritize Feature Development After Launching an MVP

The initial launch of your Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a big step. It means you’re putting something into people’s hands to try. Keep in mind that this isn’t so much a launch as it is the beginning of a process. But you’re out there, and people are using your product. Now you face one […]

The MVP is a Process not a Product

MVP = Minimum Viable Product But should it? My esteemed colleague Raymond Luk is well known for his catchy quotes. If only we could post more of his catchphrases on Twitter. Lots of “OH” material at Year One Labs partner meetings… So yesterday, Raymond said, “The MVP is a process, not a product…” And that’s […]

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Scratching Your Own Itch May be Detrimental to Your Startup’s Health

A lot of startups come into existence when the founders work to solve their own problems. They “scratch their own itch” and (hopefully!) find that lots of other people are itchy too. But there are significant risks as well. These days a lot of startups are launched quickly with a couple of technical co-founders. That […]

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