Awesome Startup Tools – Lean Canvas & Beyond
The following business model tools will help your startup team explore your business model assumptions, product market fit, and customer experience timeline. These are some of the most valuable tools that you can put to use. It’s especially important to test your assumptions and validate or invalidate them as early as possible.
When my partners and I started our furniture company we tested the size of the case goods. I thought they should be larger, and our partner wanted to optimize our yield on our wood by scaling their size down. When we tested it with our potential dealers, the outcome showed us that the scaled down case goods gave the impression that the furniture was designed for children. Since that was not the market that we were aiming for, we resized the case goods to the larger versions and dealers and consumers now looked at the bedroom set as a high-end premium suite of furniture.
LeanStack is an interactive lean business canvas system, where you can create your lean canvases and keep track of your experiments and interviews.
Canvanizer is a free site that has not only the classic lean business canvas, but also a number of variants of the lean business canvas, as well as a number of other templates for things like the SWOT analysis. All of the forms are designed as interactive web templates. This site is a wonderful resource for practical business tools.
Strategyzer has a Business Proposition Canvas that augments the standard Lean Business Canvas. This is a very helpful extension to the original business template that is definitely worth using during your startup explorations.
The CX Toolkit from Oracle was a surprise find. There is an entire system of templates, tools, and examples to use for a mapping of your potential customer’s experience. We actually did this for our various stakeholders to get a clear picture of where the pain points were with each of the stakeholders that are in our business model. This may seem like a lot of work, but it’s definitely better to put in a bit of work at the beginning than to do a ton of work only to find you’ve missed a primary opportunity, or a primary roadblock that you could have known ahead of time.