In the last post, I made the case that a startup has many good reasons to develop a formal business model early in the process. The reasons are plentiful, but a core reason is that it provides a way for the founder to investigate and, hopefully, validate the assumptions on how the enterprise repeatedly offers … Continue reading Business Model Canvas: Where to Start?
Is the Business Model Canvas still relevant for Start Ups?
At Columbia Business School, many of us have adopted Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur's Business Model Canvas (BMC) as a template to guide students through the business model development process. Over the past few years, as we teach and discuss how best to apply the BMC to numerous new venture ideas, we have developed tools and approaches … Continue reading Is the Business Model Canvas still relevant for Start Ups?
Is it Time for a Tech Co-Founder?
A few weeks ago, the director of the Columbia Business School's Lang Center for Entrepreneurship mentioned to me that the most asked question by our MBA students is the following: When is the right time to bring on a tech co-founder? So let me outline a few considerations as a response to this question. As … Continue reading Is it Time for a Tech Co-Founder?
Early Solution Design and Testing (Part Two)
In the last post, I explained some initial thoughts on designing and testing early solutions with your target customer. As mentioned, I see the initial solution design as a continuation of early customer engagement. Once you have conducted enough customer interviews to define the problem and consider potential solutions confidently, you can begin early-stage product … Continue reading Early Solution Design and Testing (Part Two)
Early Solution Design and Testing (Part One)
For the next couple of posts, I will discuss ways to approach early product design and testing within the startup context. Let me say up front that many of the practices and tools highlighted can be applied in multiple settings, from early ventures to large corporations across many product categories, and applied to B2C, B2B, … Continue reading Early Solution Design and Testing (Part One)
Starting with Customer Outcomes
As entrepreneurs, product developers, and innovators, we tend to get caught up in the technical functionality of our solutions. As I have stated before in this blog, founders tend to be enamored with their conception of the customer's solution rather than the problem itself. Many innovators begin by thinking about the functionality of their proposed … Continue reading Starting with Customer Outcomes
Customer Experience Maps: A Holistic Approach
In the previous post, I highlighted the role that design thinking plays in problem identification and solution design. Within the design thinking approach, several tools and practices helpful to entrepreneurs as they seek an optimal solution for customers. These tools support the development, articulation, and documentation of your early assumptions about the customer's experience with … Continue reading Customer Experience Maps: A Holistic Approach
Design Thinking: From Empathy to Insight
Over the next couple of posts, I want to elaborate on ways to prepare for designing an effective solution for your customer. Starting with a design thinking approach, you will learn how to develop a deeper understanding of the customer's experience as they try to solve a specific problem or complete a job to be … Continue reading Design Thinking: From Empathy to Insight
Deep Dive into Your Competitors (Part Two)
In this post, we continue to look at how startup and early venture founders can best understand the competitive landscape that they plan to enter soon. In the last post, I described how to identify organizations that provide your target customers with direct or indirect solutions. Once identified, you begin to conduct an in-depth analysis of … Continue reading Deep Dive into Your Competitors (Part Two)
Deep Dive into Your Competitors (Part One)
This post reviews the tools you can use to conduct a deeper look at your competition. It takes several steps to understand your competition better and how they position themselves in the marketplace. The first step is to identify your direct and indirect competitors. The following step is to conduct an in-depth review of each … Continue reading Deep Dive into Your Competitors (Part One)