Startup Finance | Making Assumptions

There are some general approaches that one can apply to ensure that you don't make the common financial errors as outlined in an earlier post. In that post, I listed eight mistakes commonly made by founders as they work to understand the mechanics of their business model. As I always state, projecting the financial performance of … Continue reading Startup Finance | Making Assumptions

IDEO “Shopping Cart” Video (Pt.3): On Culture

In this final post on the IDEO Shopping Cart Video, I will explore the firm's depiction of its corporate culture. Creating a culture that breeds innovation is a significant theme of the video, and there are many prescriptions regarding specific corporate policies and practices. Finally, I will explore which of these practices hold up in … Continue reading IDEO “Shopping Cart” Video (Pt.3): On Culture

IDEO “Shopping Cart” Video (Pt.2): The Deep Dive

In our last post, I started a series exploring the validity and applicability of IDEO's shopping cart design video in 2022. I have been showing this video on and off since its initial production in 1999. Unfortunately, some of the content has not aged well, particularly its depiction of diversity. The last post offered a considered … Continue reading IDEO “Shopping Cart” Video (Pt.2): The Deep Dive

IDEO “Shopping Cart” Video (Pt.1): On Diversity

In an earlier post, I outlined some of the fundamental aspects of design thinking and how it supported the new venture realization process. For the following three articles, I want to look at the famous (and possibly infamous) IDEO Shopping Cart design video to answer one question - Are the lessons derived from this archival document … Continue reading IDEO “Shopping Cart” Video (Pt.1): On Diversity

Maximizing Social Impact through Innovation

In a recent post, I spoke about the importance of applying a structured innovation process to develop and launch your startup. Furthermore, I argued that a reasonable approach would accommodate a variety of contexts, from startup to corporate innovation. This article focuses on using the venture realization process to develop social innovations that create value, impact, … Continue reading Maximizing Social Impact through Innovation

Discovering Your Marketplace

I want to offer steps you can apply to develop a good understanding of the market opportunity you are pursuing as you build your business plan to launch the venture. This analysis divides into four areas: Founder, Customer, Industry, and Startup Ecosystem. As discussed in previous posts, the first area deals with the founding team's … Continue reading Discovering Your Marketplace

Essentials of B2B Customer Discovery

Frequently, founders ask me to talk about the differences one encounters when building a venture that serves business customers instead of non-business consumers. While the overall process is somewhat agnostic for the target customer or business model, there are certainly differences to explore. This post will focus on the customer discovery process, starting with customer … Continue reading Essentials of B2B Customer Discovery

Startups: Know Your Early Customer Metrics

In an earlier post, I have discussed the sales funnel's role in selecting promotional strategies to reach, acquire, and retain your target customer. Each stage of the sales cycle - Awareness, Consideration, Decision, and Post Purchase - was mapped to crucial marketing decisions. Focusing on a specific customer segment, you would take each stage of the … Continue reading Startups: Know Your Early Customer Metrics

Classify Your Startup to Optimize Market Research

My initial idea for this post was to write about the steps required to conduct a practical analysis of the relevant industry or sector that helps the founder examine the external environment in which the team will operate. The more I researched industry analysis methods, the more I realized how challenging it could be for … Continue reading Classify Your Startup to Optimize Market Research

Why Startups Should Focus On Pre-Launch Metrics

Everyone agrees that measuring and monitoring startup performance is a critical success factor for fledgling enterprises. However, while much is written about measuring startup performance post-launch, there is less attention to pre-launch metrics. In this post, I make the case that establishing a disciplined pre-launch culture, manifested by a history of goal setting, measurement, monitoring, … Continue reading Why Startups Should Focus On Pre-Launch Metrics