What Is a Startup?

The term startup refers to a company in the first stage of its operations. Startups are founded by one or more entrepreneurs who want to develop a product or service for which they believe there is a demand. Startups are companies or ventures that are focused around a single product or service that the founders want to bring to market.

These companies typically don’t have a fully developed business model and, more importantly, lack adequate capital to move on to the next phase of business. Most of these companies are initially funded by their founders. Many startups end up turning to others for more funding—family, friends, and venture capitalists.

So many startups fail within the first few years. That’s why this initial period is so important. Entrepreneurs need to find money, create a business model and business plan, hire key personnel, work out intricate details such as equity stakes for partners and investors, and plan for the long run.

Lean Canvas

Lean Canvas is a 1-page business plan template created by Ash Maurya that helps you deconstruct your idea into its key assumptions. It is adapted from Alex Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas and optimized for Lean Startups. It replaces elaborate business plans with a single page business model.

Business plans take too long to write, are seldom updated, and almost never read by others but documenting your hypotheses is key.

Lean Canvas solves this problem using a 1-page business model that takes under 20 minutes to create.

  Watch this video.

 Download this tool

The Startup Lean Canvas is divided into 9 sections that are critical for startup success and is a tool to validate your startup business model from the ground up.

By completing the Lean Canvas throughout this course, you will ensure that your strategic operations decisions and tactical operations decisions are made in a coordinated and cohesive fashion. 

Download the Lean Canvas Template here and keep it handy for use throughout the rest of the course.

Download the Lean Canvas Uber example.

Value Proposition Canvas

The Value Proposition Canvas is a tool which can help ensure that a product or service is positioned around what the customer values and needs. The Value Proposition Canvas is a great tool for understanding how customers make decisions, and therefore helps us create offers that they will find appealing.

The video is a full-fledged guide on the value proposition canvas – a tool to unlock the potential of your product for target customers.

  Watch this video.

Download Value Proposition Canvas pdf template

  Complete this exercise.

In this exercise, you will complete the Lean Canvas and Value Proposition Canvas for your startup.  These elements should guide all future strategic and tactical operations decisions for your startup, to ensure that you have the operations capabilities to meet your customers’ expectations.

Business Assignment #2:

  Participate in this exercise.

Send the results of your work on this module’s Startup Value Proposition Canvas assignment to themindfultourist.net@gmail.com, where you will receive feedback and suggestions on your plan.

Reflection journal
Module 2